U-turn on tobacco warning

Kashmir Times. Dated: 4/9/2015 1:49:29 PM

Dear Editor,
It refers to twin news-items wherein one related to welcome ban for one year on sale of tobacco by Delhi government, while the other news-item mentioned that Union Health Minister took a surprise and shocking U-turn on earlier move to increase size of pictorial warnings on packs of tobacco-products including of cigarettes to four times the existing one. In past also, influential lobby of cigarette-manufacturers in the country has been able to exhibit its power to influence government-moves against sale of cigarettes in the country where about a million persons lose their lives annually in the country because of being habitual of tobacco-products.
India needs a total ban on manufacture and sale of cigarettes in India like is there in Bhutan and Ireland. Even family-members of smokers will support such a bold step, because it is the family which suffers from death of persons caused by smoking. Smoking is an addiction started out of fashion at the young age when initial puffs even cause discomfort. Revenue-loss from ban on cigarettes will be more than compensated by funds saved on tobacco-related diseases. If self-regulation is the policy to check human evils, then Union Government should withdraw attempt-to-suicide from Indian Penal Code. Likewise using helmets by scooterists should also be made self-regulatory rather than being forced as compulsory.
—Madhu Agrawal,
1775 Kucha Lattushah Dariba Delhi.



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