Dr S K Arora, Addl Director Health,Govt of Delhi as a vigilant citizen of India with great concern towards public health on 18th November 2019 again lodged complaint with Health & Family Welfare Deptt , Govt of India to stop promotion of Tobacco/ Pan Masala brand which are happening very frequently by the big media houses, Bollywood Industry & Cricket Industry in India. Dr Arora says these promotions are not only violations of COTPA (Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act ) & Food Safety and Standard Act of Govt of India but also very adversely affects youth of our country.
“Times of India News Paper group is organizing Times-Litfest at India Habitat Centre, Delhi on 30th Nov -1st Dec 2019 and is sponsored by a brand of Tobacco / Pan Masala & Its advertisements in various medias & at event are violations of COTPA & FSS Acts. This violation is being committed by Times of India group every year & being Big Media house, it gets away from punishments very easily” says Dr Arora
Dr Arora says he is already fighting against similar promotion by Times Litfest 2018 in Hon’ble Court of Press council of India & judgement is pending but ToI has proceeded with similar violations in 2019 also.
Few days back he had lodged a complaint on similar violation when India Today media house carried out ‘Sahitya’ Literary festival in Delhi at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi from 1st to 3rd November 2019 & was also sponsored by same brand of Tobacco / Pan Masala but this violation could not be prevented.
Similar violations happened in past also by Cricket & bollywood Industry for which he had lodged the complaints well in advance before the event date but those also could not be prevented
Dr Arora says that in past he had issued several show cause notices, letters & now lodging complaints for these violations. He is fighting against these promotions for last many years extensively inside & outside court both , though he succeeded on several occasions but violations are continuing and for this he is requesting H& FW deptt , Govt of India repeatedly for stern action against violators.
Letter further says that ” This time also I am lodging this complaint 2 weeks before the event date, 30th Nov 2019, therefore it is humbly requested to stop these violations not only to protect the Law but also to protect the public health of country as these advts campaign by social / other media are being spread throughout country & traps youth in these habits.
Dr Arora says that these Tobacco promotions are also big hurdle for our Hon’ble PM’s target of eradicating TB from India by 2025 as 40% TB comes from smokers. It’s worth mentioning that Tobacco / Pan Masala use is linked to more than 13 lakh deaths annually in our country. Tobacco & Pan Masala are responsible to label India as Oral cancer capital of world. Oral cancers are on rise in India with more than 100,000 new cases in 2018, adds Arora
Sponsors are promoting this as Children friendly literature festival & says enjoy a day with your favourite authors but Dr Arora tweets ” Enjoy A day & suffer from Cancers like diseases for months/ years to be ultimately killed. ” He further tweets that if Media houses have no money then better don’t organize such so called Child friendly events which are ultimately going to kill these children from Tobacco habits.
In the end he requests Govt of India Prog division to take necessary action immediately to prevent this violation. He has marked the copy of letter to PM & Health Minister, GoI also for speedy action in public interests