The Medical director of Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Center, New Delhi, has suggested a host of measures to curb the use of tobacco on World Tobacco Day (on May 31).
The suggestions include creating civil wardens for monitoring regulations set up by the government. Dr.A.K.Dewan says that we have to address both the pull and push factors.
"On the push side, we have to create mechanisms to inspect factories churning out millions of gutkha
pouches a day and ensure that they adhere to strictest norms of quality," he said.
He also says that the debate on pictorial warnings is misplaced. "We should have a 100% anti-smoking display and messages on all cigarettes packs," he added.
The medical director's suggestions include:
- The task of checking and curbing this menace is mammoth and we have to deploy a three-fold strategy for the same. The first is legislation which includes a ban on tobacco consumption, fine on public smoking, 99 percent pictorial warning and so on.
- The second is about awareness, which includes roping in civil society groups, educational institutions, youth clubs, women's groups and media houses.
- The third is counseling and mass screening, which includes roping in hospitals and NGOs to run counseling centers for smokers and habitual gutka consumers.