Dr S K Arora, Addl Director Health,Govt of Delhi again writes to Health and family Welfare deptt Govt of India to stop Violations of COTPA and FSS Act to protect youth of country from the menace of tobaccos/ Pan Masala
In a letter to Secy H& FW, GoI with copy to Minister of Health GoI & Prime Minister of India, he has requested them to stop violations of various acts through promotion of Tobaccos/ Pan Masala brands by ‘Sahitya’ literary festival of “India Today group” going on in Delhi at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi from 1st to 3rd November 2019. This festival is sponsored by ‘Rajnigandha’ Brand of Tobacco / Pan Masala. This is being advertised in various medias including Print & Social. Such kinds of promotion & sponsorships are illegal under COTPA & FSS Act says Dr Arora in his letter.
He also anticipates the likely similar violations to happen on 3rd November at Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi during 1st T 20 cricket match between India & Bangla Desh
Dr Arora further states that similar violation happened in cricket ground in 5th Cricket ODI India vs Australia held on 13th March 2019 in Delhi & Film Fare Award Ceremony in Mumbai held on 23rd March 2019 for which he had informed Health &FW Deptt Govt of India office well advance in time but still those violations could not be prevented.
Dr Arora says that if “Media houses have no money then it’s better not to organize such events instead of taking Sponsorship from hazardous products. what’s the use of Discussing art & literature under the banner of hazardous products which is killing more than 13 lakh people in our country annually ”
It’s worth mentioning that while heading Delhi State Tobacco Control Cell, Dr Arora had issued several letters & show cause notices in last few years repeatedly to various Tobacco / Pan Masala companies, Delhi Cricket Control Board, Bollywood Industry & Media houses for stopping such promotions which are not only illegal but also attract the youth of country to get trapped in these habits. All these were shared with NTCP division, GoI for appropriate action but concrete action is yet awaited & all these industries get away from punishments because of their status & poor enforcements of Acts, adds Arora.
He further adds that this is hampering the public health campaign against tobacco & also is a 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 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.
In the end he has requested for an immediate action to protect the youth from the menace of tobaccos.