Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Traders will not sell cigarettes and other tobacco products on May 31 being observed as the World No Tobacco Day.

This will be part of their attempt to create awareness of the ill effects of tobacco, said T. Vellaiyan, president of Traders Association, here on Saturday.

Addressing a workshop on tobacco control, he said profit making alone should not be the motive of traders. They should have social responsibility too. He appealed to traders to educate the public on the evil effects of smoking and use of tobacco products on that day. They should voluntarily join the anti-tobacco campaign launched by various voluntarily organisations.

R.T. Porkaipandiyan, Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, said all efforts should be made to put an end to “tobacco terrorism,” which was spoiling the lives of youth in the productive age group of 20 to 40.

Of late there had been a rise in smoking habit among women, which would lead to delivery of babies with low IQ and stillborn infants.

Appealing to traders to restrict the sale of tobacco products, he said by this, they were serving a social cause.

V. Shanta, Chairman of the Cancer Institute, said tobacco was the root cause for heart-related diseases and cancer. Though all smokers would not get cancer, 90 per cent of the cancer patients were tobacco users.

Early detection could cure cancer. But, it was difficult to detect lung cancer at an early stage.

It was mostly caused by tobacco products. Passive smoking was yet another menace affecting children and women. The battle against tobacco could not be won without the active support of traders, who could play a positive role in curbing tobacco practices, she said.

T.G. Sagar, director and dean of the Institute, in his welcome address, said the purpose of the workshop was to target traders in the campaign against tobacco and also to make them aware of tobacco control legislations. Traders should make efforts to motivate the public in creating and maintaining smoke-free public places.