36,900 people in Assam affected by cancer between 2015-17

Guwahati, Dec 3 (PTI) An estimated 36,900 people in Assam were affected by cancer between 2015-17 due to consumption of tobacco products, Health minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma said in the state Assembly on Tuesday.

Replying to a question of Roselina Tirkey (Cong), Sarma said an estimated 12,000 people were affected in 2015 and also in 2017, while another 12,900 in 2016, as per records provided by the Central-government run B Barooah Cancer Institute.

To a question if the state has any legal provision for banning sale of tobacco products, the minister said Assam Health (Prohibition of manufacturing, advertisement, trade, storage, distribution, sale and consumption of zarda, gutka, panmasala, containing tobacco or nicotine) Act was enacted in 2013 but the Gauhati High Court had repealed it in 2017.

The minister said on November 22 last the state government had banned the manufacture, distribution, sale, transportation, display of gutka and pan masala containing tobacco and nicotine by whatever name for a period of one year in pursuance of the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulation, 2011. PTI ESB RG RG