India, 30th April 2022: On National Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month, American Oncology Institute (AOI) has launched an awareness campaign on oral & mouth cancer. AOI through its brand tagline “We journey with you” aims to reinforce their commitment to our Society’s well-being. The campaign aims to highlight the high-risk factors associated with all kinds of smokeless tobacco (STL) products while creating awareness of preventive measures. Campaign messaging also emphasizes that smokeless tobacco products are not an alternative and are also harmful.
According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey-India, the country is the second-largest producer and consumer of tobacco products. India is among the top countries with a high rate of oral cancer with a large disease and economic burden due to tobacco harm. The most consumed SLT in India is the chewing form of smokeless tobacco which contains nicotine. Apart from tobacco, chewing paan containing leaves of piper betel with areca nut, lime, catechu, cinnamon, etc., is a leading source of oral malignancy, especially in the northeastern parts of India that contributes the highest incidence of cancer in India. SLT consumed both orally and nasally, shows association with potentially malignant oral disorders and oral cavity cancers.
As part of this campaign, AOI has conceptualized and released a short film on public health interest called Kal Ki Soch. The short film features two kids who are creating awareness on the health risk associated with smokeless tobacco consumption. The digital campaign is live across AOI’s social media channels and further released in 10+ states in the form of outdoor and other in-house advertising.
Talking about the campaign, Tina Choudhury, Campaign Brand Lead, CTSI South Asia, said, “Working on a campaign relating to healthcare comes with its unique set of challenges that are unlike any other industry. We must choose the right message and medium keeping the creativity intact yet very simple. Our latest campaign on Oral Cancer awareness is specially curated to close the gap between communication and relevant messaging. Tapping into the power of social media, with a right media mix, we aim to create awareness that smokeless tobacco products are not an alternative and can cause cancer. As a part of this campaign a short film ‘Kal Ki Soch’ is issued in public health interest. We are already seeing a traction in the campaign, and I hope to reach to a larger set of audience to spread awareness on Oral & Mouth Cancer.”
AOI is the leading cancer hospital chain of South Asia operating 16 cancer hospitals in the region. American Oncology Institute is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the largest cancer medical technology company- Varian Medical Systems, a Siemens Healthineers Company. While AOI offers best in class clinical expertise, technological superiority and service excellence, this campaign focuses on risks associated with smokeless Tobacco which can also cause mouth/oral cancer. This awareness campaign aligns with the central campaign idea i.e., #AOICancercare and #Wejourneywithyou. According to recent industry reports, oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) contributes remarkably i.e. 84-97% to oral cancer. There are more than 28 constituents in Smokeless tobacco (SLT) products that are carcinogenic. Tobacco Specific Nitrosamines (TSNAs) are the most harmful compounds in smokeless tobacco and are directly related to the risk of cancer. Tobacco consumption including smokeless tobacco (SLT), betel-quid chewing, excessive alcohol consumption, poor oral hygiene, nutrient-deficient diet, and sustained viral infections, i.e. human papillomavirus (HPV) are some of the risks associated with the occurrence of oral cancer.