“Choose tobacco or life,” says 18-year-old Class XII student Akshat Pabuwal who has made a place for himself in the Limca Book of Records for constructing the largest ash tray in the world. Designed in the shape of World Health Organisation's ‘World No Tobacco Day' symbol, the ash tray weighs about 60 kg and is 12 inches high with a flower in one corner.

“At this stage in life, I look around and see everyone around me concerned only for themselves. I wanted to do something for the community,” said Rajasthan resident Akshat here on Monday.

Supporting the teenager and the cause was fashion designer Rohit Bal, who quit smoking more than 15 years ago. “Unlike other narcotics, smoking unfortunately is a more ‘acceptable' habit. [But] if you do not make up your mind about giving it up, no one else will,” said Mr. Bal.

The idea of creating the ash tray came to Akshat when he saw people his age smoking to “look cool”. He began working on the idea, researching the final design, around six months ago. Akshat was helped by his father Amit Pabuwal, who fashions world-class trophies for sports like cricket.

“The ash tray is made of nickel silver, white gold, brass and is gold-plated with a meenakaari rose on the top.

The surface is chequered hand work and has been painted over with crude nail finish to send the message that you are “nailing yourself to death” every time you smoke,” said Akshat. The sides of the ash tray have traditional hand-chiselled chital roses. It took around three months to create the ash tray.

“We received the entry for the largest ash tray from Akshat last month and will feature it in the 2012 edition of the Limca Book of World Records,” said Limca Book of Records assistant editor Smitha Thomas.

“The Guinness Book of World Records will be confirming the record shortly,” said Akshat.

Akshat and Mr. Pabuwal plan to make similar ash trays and display them at 100 leading universities of the world by May 31 next year.

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