Conscientious Gopi

AT A function held on Monday to observe the World No-Tobacco Day, the film star, Suresh Gopi, did not hide his displeasure at the sermon given by the Health Minister that popular figures like the actor should desist from smoking on screen so that the youth are not `misleaded'.

The reason why the actor was so piqued became evident when Babu Mathew, the former Head of Community Oncology at the Regional Cancer Centre, explained, how the actor has all along been concerned about the ill-effects of tobacco.

It seems that Suresh Gopi had been approached by a mouth-freshener manufacturer from the North, to be the brand ambassador for their product.

The actor, however, said that he would oblige only if a doctor known to him certified that the product was not harmful to health.

Dr. Mathew explained that Mr. Gopi had approached him and the then RCC Director, Krishnan Nair, with the request that they examine the product.

On being told that the product contained tobacco and that it was pan masala disguised as mouth freshener, the actor immediately turned down the offer.

"Thanks to him, the product is not marketed in Kerala today," Dr. Mathew said.

The Minister, however, wasn't around to listen to this bit of information.

By Maya C