Mumbai/New Delhi: Tobacco is addictive, causes cancer and is killing nearly 1.2 lakh young Indians. Two major studies were released in the past week. A study in the Lancet, and the World Tobacco Atlas both found that tobacco use is the single biggest cause of cancers in India, resulting in 40 per cent of cancer deaths in Indian men.
Eighty per cent of all oral cancers are tobacco-related, according to the World Tobacco Atlas, released by world lung foundation. The Lancet study highlighted six lakh deaths due to cancer, in 2010.
One fifth of these were due to tobacco use. The study also highlighted how cancer was hitting Indians at a younger age, than their counterparts in the West.
DRD WHO SEARO Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh said, "The young are taking more to tobacco now. Despite all the attempts that have been made we don't find that that is on the decline now."
There is a regional variance. The North-East has four times higher cancer rates than neighbouring states Bihar and Orissa, possibly because of high tobacco consumption.
Cervical cancer is responsible for 20 per cent of all cancer deaths in women. These can also be caught at an early stage, through regular screening or pap smear tests.