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HomeOpinionDiaryStringent steps needed to curb smoking - Part II

Stringent steps needed to curb smoking – Part II

According to The Cigarette Package Health Warnings: International Status Report  2014 India has slipped to 136th position in the list of 198 countries that warn smokers about the hazards of smoking through graphic pictures on cigarette packages.

Can’t we implement the ban on the companies manufacturing these tobacco products of intoxication. Indians just do not have the psyche to obey laws. They believe that rules are meant to be broken. Smokers are unmindful of the consequences of passive smoking. Over time, the habit of smoking weaves its way through all of the activities in our lives, and we come to think we can’t be happy or productive without cigarettes.

Various provisions that we implement time and again clearly states that people can smoke on roads or in their homes but not in any other places. More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from AIDS, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined.

It smells something else totally against enforcing the rule strongly across the country as law enacted smoking is banned only for outside propaganda. Here, the government is happy that it has enforced a law, police is happy that it can earn more money, the cigarette companies are pleased that they don’t have to bother. The Finance Ministry is happy as there is no affect on taxes and the health minister is happy that he could at least bring a legislation to ban smoking in public places during his tenure- so what matters if it is not implemented.

It is reported that a cigarette smoker shortens his life by about 5.5 minutes for each cigarette smoked, almost the time he spends for smoking it. The increasing incidence of heart attack in India, fast spreading among younger generation has been largely on account of smoking habits. Nearly 30 million people in the country are estimated to be victims of heart diseases. No doubt, the Government has come out with good points to deal with the matter but at the same time taxes on tobacco products should go up to help smokers give up this habit. Such methods can curb smoking to some extent. Under such circumstances, it clearly shows that the anti-smoking Act will go up in smoke. But I feel that people must wake up to the danger of smoking to themselves and passive smokers must act before it is too late.

Vinod Chandrashekhar Dixit

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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