Advertisements promoting tobacco products certainly have an influence on youngsters, drawing them into smoking. Such advertisements must be banned as one among the many measures to release people from the clutches to tobacco, president of Association of Physicians of India A. Muruganathan has said.

In an e-mailed statement to mark the World No-Tobacco Day, he said on Thursday that evidence in various parts of the world had shown that comprehensive ban on advertising had led to a decline in the number of persons taking to smoking, he said, pointing out that the theme of this year’s observance was “Ban Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship”.

Quoting from various studies, Dr. Muruganathan said tobacco killed eight lakh people a year in India and that every year 55,000 take to tobacco habits and only two per cent of adults quit the habit, but only after falling ill.

“The ICMR (Indian Council for Medical Research) has also said that out of 100 young smokers today, nearly half of them will die of tobacco-related diseases,” he said, calling for concerted efforts to draw people away from tobacco in all forms.