Anti-tobacco campaign elicits concern among viewers

Anti-tobacco campaign elicits concern among viewers

New Delhi: A powerful anti-tobacco mass media campaign titled Sunita, which was launched by Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, has elicited fear, shock and concern among viewers, a release said Wednesday.

The 30-second Public Service Announcement (PSA) has been translated into 17 languages and will run for five weeks nationally on all government and private TV and radio channels through the National Tobacco Control Program (NTCP).

Viewers who watch the new advertisement say they experience fear, shock and concern at seeing the harm inflicted on Sunita and her family by smokeless tobacco (also referred to as "chewing tobacco"), the release by the World Lung Foundation said.

Men and women who currently use smokeless tobacco express their intention to quit, it said.

The campaign shows the personal testimony of Sunita Tomar, a 27-year old wife and mother, who developed oral cancer after using smokeless tobacco.

Sunita lives in a small town in Madhya Pradesh with her husband, a truck driver, her 12 and 13-year old sons, and her parents-in-law.

The advertisement shows Sunita before and after an operation to remove a cancerous growth and part of her mouth.

She describes how happy she was before tobacco took its terrible toll on her health and her appearance and how she never expected to develop oral cancer. The advertisement closes with a warning against using smokeless tobacco in any forms.

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