Anti Tobacco Law

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- Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi

New anti-tobacco laws Can Save millions of Indians from killer tobacco.


The new avatar of the Tobacco control Act, passed under the current ministry are to be lauded and some credit is due to the pro-active health ministry including leaders like Dr Ramadoss and Mr Jaipal Reddy. This is one of the best things that has happened in our country in last several decades. The law is a great service to mankind and will save millions of Indians from dying prematurely or being disabled by tobacco. The biggest controversy that this law has invited is related to ban of tobacco glamorization in movies. Some insane economists find this law bad for our nation’s economic health!  Multinational companies, with declining sale in west, are currently engaged in an aggressive campaign to capture and convert India's 250 million tobacco users, particularly the young. This may be difficult for them now.  There is no logic that can justify the continuation of tobacco menace in its current form. For those who are opposed to this action, please go through the following discussion.
The tobacoo menace in India?

800,000 deaths every year is related to tobacco
Tobacco kills more people than AIDS, alcohol, cocaine, homicide, suicide, motor vehicle crashes, and fires combined!
150,000 cancers per year is caused in India due to tobacco.
4.2 million heart diseases every year in Indians is caused by tobacco. 
3.7 million lung diseases in every year
55,000 children every day in India start using tobacco 
5 million children under the age of fifteen are addicted to tobacco.
10%-40% of school students and 70% of students in colleges in Mumbai chew gutka & paan masala.
142 million men and 72 million women above the age of 15 years are tobacco consumers in the world.
7 million people in impoverished nations are projected to die from tobacco related diseases each year by 2025. 
It is well known that beedi industry uses children as bonded labors and makes money by keeping them in most inhuman of working conditions. 
India has one of the highest rates of oral cancer in the world, and the rates are still increasing. Tobacco-related cancers account for about half of all cancers among men and one-fourth among women.
Tobacco is predicted to account for 13% of all deaths in India by 2025

The law is likely to cause a downward trend in tobacco consumption that is currently growing at the rate of about 5-7 percent in India.

What has the nation gained?

Country will save 27,761 crore rupees (277.61 billion rupees) that is the cost of treating tobacco related diseases in our country.
Majority of the people who die due to tobacco are young and invaluable assets of our nation.

What has the nation lost?  

Revenue related to tobacco! Fortunately, this amount is far less than the revenue lost due to tobacco.

What has Bollywood lost?  

Freedom of expression and creativity.
No loss of people's interest in Bollywood / TV is expected. 

What has bollywood gained?  

We would be able to see our (smoking) superstars in good health on screen for longer time.

Innocent people around the (smoking) superstars won't be subjected to passive smoking during the shoot of smoking scenes.

What has Tobacco Industry lost?  

The multinational tobacco companies and large Indian tobacco companies won't loose anything because most of them have started investing in lifestyle, food, and entertainment products. They know how to make money!

Small and medium farmers will loose most and would require government help.

I won't be surprised if the opponents would change their opinion after going through the above text. I salute the government for this bold decision and its ability to plug the loopholes in tobacco control in our country.

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