The Chief Minister said that even though there were restrictions on the sale of tobacco in the vicinity of schools, tobacco products like ‘pan masala' were sold with an eye on the students.

The government proposes to take stringent action against the sale of tobacco and tobacco products in the vicinity of schools.

This was disclosed by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy at a programme organised at the Regional Cancer Centre here on Tuesday to mark International No Tobacco Day.

The Chief Minister said that even though there were restrictions on the sale of tobacco in the vicinity of schools, tobacco products like ‘pan masala' were sold with an eye on the students. Effective action would be taken against it. The next Cabinet meeting would discuss and take a decision on the issue.

Mr. Chandy stated that he was not only for strengthening the restrictions but also for a total ban on these products.

RCC Director Paul Sebastian said that tobacco and tobacco products were responsible for 45 per cent of cancer incidents in men and 15 per cent incidents in women.

During an interaction, four patients who had developed cancer due to the use of tobacco products narrated their experiences to Mr. Chandy. He pointed out that ignorance of the ill effects of tobacco was responsible for their plight.

The Chief Minister said that smoking seemed to be coming down in society. Law alone was responsible for it, he said adding that awareness programmes too had played a role.

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