Nov 16
Terminating Tobacco
Terminating Tobacco
ACCORDING to the National Cancer Registry, tobacco consumption is one of the major causes of mouth cancer in Gujarat. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that even smokeless tobacco contains many cancer-causing toxins and it increases the risk of cancer of the head, neck, throat, oesophagus and oral cavity as well as various dental diseases.
Considering this major health and lifestyle concern, L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering (LTHE) conceived Gutka Mukt Gam – a tobacco de-addiction initiative – targeting the rural community in Vadodara. In collaboration with Gujarat Medical & Education Research Society’s (GMERS) Gotri Hospital, the intervention initiative was introduced last year in Piparkui Village on a pilot basis. Following its success, LTHE has now expanded the initiative to two more villages in Vadodara’s Waghodia block. This is being done in association with two NGOs named AWAG and SCORE.
On 16 September, the inaugural session was held at Hanumanpura village in the presence of Mr Sudheer P V Nambiar (Group QHSE Head – LTHE), Dr Sandip Shah (HOD, Psychiatry Dept – GMERS Gotri Hospital), Vadodara Police’s ‘She’ team (a unit of women officers to attend to distress calls and complaints from women) and the Sarpanch of Hanumanpura.The session included an awareness talk and a de-addiction pledge administered by the Gotri Hospital team. It ended with inspiring words from the ‘She’ team members. 
Gutka Mukt Gam generates awareness and educates women, children and adolescents about tobacco dependence and its harmful effects. It provides appropriate medical support and counseling to tobacco addicts, enabling them quit tobacco in all its forms. At the next level, contact is established through regular door-to-door sessions, telephonic sessions and follow-up visits. The initiative will, hopefully, go a long way in curbing the prevalence of cancer and all the pain and expense it entails.


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