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REVIEW ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2007  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 2-5
Tobacco control in India


Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, Meenakshi Ammal Dental College and Hospital, Alapakkam Main Road, Maduravoyal, Chennai - 95, India

Correspondence Address:
Preetha Elizabeth Chaly
Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, Meenakshi Ammal Dental College and Hospital, Alapakkam Main Road, Maduravoyal, Chennai - 95
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-9290.30913

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Portuguese introduced tobacco to India 400 years ago. Ever since, Indians have used tobacco in various forms. Sixty five per cent of all men and 33% of all women use tobacco in some form. Tobacco causes over 20 categories of fatal and disabling diseases including oral cancer. By 2020 it is predicted that tobacco will account for 13% of all deaths in India. A major step has to be taken to control what the World Health Organization, has labeled a 'smoking epidemic' in developing countries. India's anti-tobacco legislation, first passed in 1975, was largely limited to health warnings and proved to be insufficient. A new piece of national legislation, proposed in 2001, represents an advance including banning smoking in public places, advertising and forbidding sale of tobacco to minors. Preventing the use of tobacco in various forms as well as treating nicotine addiction is the major concern of dentists and physicians. The dental encounter probably constitutes a "teachable moment" when the patient is receptive to counseling about life- style issues. Both policy makers and health professionals must work together for achieving a smoke free society for our coming generations.


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