Government should make Amitabh face of tobacco control campaign

New Delhi, May 29 : Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre (RGCIRC) has urged the government to appoint prominent people, including Amitabh Bachchan among others, as brand ambassadors for the better impact of its tobacco control programmes.

The organisation — one of the best cancer treatment centres in Asia — questioned the government whether the high revenue generated by the tobacco industry was the reason behind not appointing any prominent celebrity as an ambassador of its anti-tobacco campaigns.

“The cost of tobacco use, according to WHO, are measured in its toll of disease, suffering and family distress. Why not a massive awareness campaign on the line of polio,” wondered A.K. Dewan, medical director and chief of head and neck services, at RGCIRC.

According to Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), tobacco use is a major preventable cause of death and disease and is responsible for one in 10 death among adults worldwide.

Approximately 5.5 million people die around the world every year — and India accounts for nearly a fifth of this.

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