Doctors and public health experts have stressed the need for the State government to ensure that there is a comprehensive ban on all types of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship in the State.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, ahead of the World No Tobacco Day (on May 31), Upendra Bhojani, faculty at the Institute of Public Health, who has published a paper on Public Policies and the Tobacco Industry, demanded that the State government should rigorously enforce the ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

WHO data

According to the data released by the World Health Organisation (WHO), nearly six million people are killed by tobacco each year. It also states that six lakh people die every year because of exposure to passive smoking.

Vishal Rao, senior consultant, Surgical Oncologist, BGS Global Hospitals, said that various types of cancers were becoming increasingly common among the lower age group.

“As much as 50 per cent of cancer cases are related to tobacco. Therefore, there is a need to ensure that tobacco consumption is reduced,” he added.

Violations

Stating that advertising, promotion and sponsoring events by companies that manufacture tobacco were “influencing” people to the “unhealthy habit”, Dr. Bhojani demanded that the government intervene in the matter.

The law says

Jayna Kothari, senior advocate, pointed out that Section 5 of the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act prescribes a complete ban on all forms of tobacco advertisements, promotions and sponsorships. “But there are still violations. Several companies use indirect and surrogate advertising by using similar imagery or logos for tobacco products and non-tobacco products,” she added.

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