New Delhi: Tobacco consumption is causing nearly half of head and neck cancers in the country, a study by a cancer research centre said here on Sunday.

"Nearly 50 percent of head and neck cancers are caused by the use of tobacco. This is contrary to the popular belief that consumption of tobacco only causes oral and lung cancer," said the study by Delhi's Dharamshila Hospital and Research Centre.

A total of 915 cases registered and operated under surgical oncology (head and neck) from 2000 to 2010 were considered.

"Around 96 percent head and neck cancers are caused by consuming smokeless tobacco," the study said.

According to a study by the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) in 2009, India accounts for nearly 274.9 million tobacco users -- around 35 percent of the total population.

(Agencies)