The Delhi State Tobacco Control Cell has issued a show cause notice to the Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) and tobacco companies for promoting various brands of tobacco/ pan masalas in the third Test match between India versus Sri Lanka at Ferozshah Kotla here over violation of Section 5 of the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COPTA), 2003.
The match, which began on December 2, ends on Wednesday. A senior Health Department official said they are awaiting comments from the association on the violation.
“…You are strictly instructed to immediately stop brand promotion of tobaccos and pan masalas on cricket grounds and also clarify your position and show cause why appropriate punitive action should not be initiated against the directors / office bearers of the DDCA as per provisions under Sections 5 and 22 of the COTPA, 2003,” the official communication noted.
S. K. Arora, Additional Director, Health, Delhi government, said, “Advertisement / promotion of tobacco / pan masala at a cricket ground is a violation under Section 5 of COTPA and as per Section 22 of COTPA, this is a punishable offence.”
He said even if these pan masalas don’t contain tobacco or nicotine, they contain areca nut (supari) and there is a lot of scientific evidence that proves supari causes cancer. Cricketers too come under the category of celebrity and are role models for the younger generation, and hence cannot promote tobacco and pan masalas which lead to disease, disability and death.