The outlandish comment by BJP MP Dilip Kumar Gandhi on smoking in Parliament created much controversy and led to a volley of criticism. His view that nowhere in India has it been substantiated that tobacco leads to cancer, was shocking to say the least. Coming from the ‘honorable’ MP, the statement was even more of a concern as these are the people that have been elected as lawmakers.
Dilip Kumar Gandhi stated that there was no survey report to prove that tobacco consumption leads to cancer. It seems this MP does not know what cancer is or maybe he does not know what tobacco containsâ€¦.. Tobacco smoke contains chemicals that are harmful to both the smoker and passive smokers. The main content of tobacco is nicotine and it is responsible for the addiction to tobacco products. During smoking, nicotine enters the lungs and is easily absorbed into the blood stream after which it travels to the brain in a matter of seconds.
According to a report by WHO, in India, roughly about two-thirds of all patients with lung cancer were found to be smokers – smoking either cigarettes, hand rolled tobacco or bidis.Â According to lung cancer studies in India (2005) about 80% of lung cancer was caused due to smoking. 29% in adult males, 2.5% in adult females, 11.7% in male collegians and 8.1% among school children and adolescents.The ICMR study has also stated that a quarter of the cigarette or beedi smokers in India would be killed by the carcinogens of tobacco smoke at the ages of 25-69 years,losing20 years of life expectancy. Aren’t these studies sufficient enough to prove tobacco leads to cancer Mr Gandhi????
Shekhar Salkar,general secretary of National Organization For Tobacco eradication(NOTE) India has stated, “Everyday almost 2500 people die in india due to consumption of tobacco and smoking.Many people even suffer from asthma and bronchitis,other than cancer and heart attacks”.