The police are taking stringent steps against this menace

The Madurai District Police have warned shopkeepers near schools to refrain from selling tobacco products particularly, to the students. The police received specific information about sale of whiteners to students who use it as a drug by inhaling the liquid not knowing the health complications. During a recent raid, the police seized the commodity from the shops situated near schools and even arrested some of them in this connection.

Last week, the Superintendent of Police, V. Balakrishnan issued a statement appealing to the shop keepers not to encourage adolescent children to get used to tobacco products. “Just because they have access to the shops and come there with cash, do not give them these products. Instead, the shopkeepers can educate the children about the consequences of smoking and chewing tobacco,” he said. After many parents expressed concern over the rise in the number of children falling victims to it, the police swung into the act, the Superintendent of Police told The Hindu on Friday. A check on the number of shops situated close to schools suggested that over 200 shops were located within 100 metres from the educational institutions. A search operation unravelled seizure of tobacco products intended for sale to students. “We will take stern action and deal this with an iron hand”, Mr. Balakrishnan said and added that the police had secured 105 petty shop owners so far in the district for committing the offence. The drive would continue until the menace stopped.”

Doctors at the GRH said that initially, inhaling whitener or chewing tobacco may appear to be exciting, but it would slowly turn into an addiction .