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India Anti-tobacco Campaign’s Face – Sunita Tomar – Writes Letter To PM Before She Dies

  • IWB Post
  •  April 2, 2015


Sunita Tomar had cancer because of her bad habit of eating tobacco. 2 days before she wrote a letter to PM Narendra Modi asking to make stricter pictorial warnings on tobacco products, she passed away.

Sunita was just 28. Her illness made her a renowned name as she got featured as a cancer survivor in the health ministry’s anti-tobacco campaign in 2014. She was featured in their 30-second advertisement that was displayed everywhere across the nation, on television, radio, in the cinemas, etc. It showed her story of how consuming tobacco since the age of 22 caused a blister in her mouth that was later detected as cancer. Her entire cheek and jaw had to be removed by plastic surgery, and chemotherapy and radiotherapy followed, when even drinking water, was painful. Sunita’s husband gave up tobacco on seeing his wife’s situation. They have two teenage sons.

In the letter she writes: “Recently Dilip Gandhi chairman of a Parliamentary panel wrote to the Health Ministry asking for the notification on bigger tobacco pack warnings to be kept in abeyance. I was shocked that people in such high posts can be so irresponsible. Bigger warnings can probably save some innocent lives like mine. You have started to take people along in your Mann Ki Baat where you recently talked about de-addiction. I hope you will also take up the cause of tobacco.”

Do you know, close to 10 lakh Indians die every year because of tobacco consumption? Share this article with your friends. Let’s wish Sunita’s story help others save their life.

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