TNAU Vice-Chancellor launched the Interactive Digital Counsellor Modules

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In connection with World No Tobacco Day (celebrated annually on May 31st), Sri Ramakrishna Hospital – Sri Ramakrishna Institute of Oncology & Research (SRIOR) launched Interactive Digital Counsellor Modules in English and Tamil for the first time in India.

V. Geethalakshmi, Vice-Chancellor of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), took part as the Chief Guest of the event. She launched the Interactive Digital Counsellor Modules in the presence of R. Sundar, Joint-Managing Trustee of SNR Sons Charitable Trust; Dr. P. Guhan, Director of SRIOR; Dr. S. Rajagopal, Medical Director; Dr. Alagappan, Medical Superintendent of Sri Ramakrishna Hospital; C. V. Ramkumar, CEO of SNR Sons Charitable Trust; and Dr. Karthikesh, Surgical Oncologist at SRIOR.

Since its inception in 2001, SRIOR has introduced various initiatives to raise awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco on World No Tobacco Day. As India becomes more digital, so have SRIOR’s initiatives. Over the years, they have launched a dedicated tobacco awareness app, e-books, flipbooks, an infographic web book, to name a few.

Speaking about this year’s initiative at the event, Dr. P. Guhan shared that the public can access the Interactive Digital Counsellor Modules by visiting The awareness content included in the modules feature audio messages that give listeners the feeling of being counseled by a medical expert. They explain how smoking affects the body, leads to cancer besides providing tips on quitting smoking, resisting cravings, and the benefits of quitting.

Dr. P. Guhan highlighted that every year, 8 to 9 lakh Indians die due to tobacco-related diseases. He said that tobacco use is known to cause heart attacks, strokes, fertility issues, lung cancer, esophageal cancer, head and neck cancer, throat cancer, bladder cancer etc.

Out of the 14 lakh new cancer cases reported in India, 3.8 lakh cases are tobacco-related. Additionally, 30% of cancer deaths in the country are due to tobacco use.

Throwing light on cancer scenario in India, the doctor said that Tamil Nadu is 5th state in the country to register higher number of new cancer patients in 2023. 82,000 new cancer cases were reported in the state in 2023 and 1/3rd of these cases is due to tobacco related diseases.

UP stands first with 2.1. lakh new cancer cases while Maharastra is the second with 1.21 lakh new cases, West Bengal is the third with 1.13 lakh, Bihar 4th with 1 lakh and Tamil Nadu at the 5th spot with 82,000.

"Given the urgent need to raise awareness about tobacco’s impact, SRIOR has launched this digital initiative. Additionally, SRIOR will offer free counseling to the public for a year. Smokers who want to quit will receive Nicotine Chewing Gum (Starter's pack) for free," Dr.Guhan said.

"SRIOR will also conduct Oral Cancer Screenings, allowing long-time smokers to assess their oral health and understand the risks they face if they do not quit smoking or using tobacco," he added.

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