National Organization for Tobacco Eradication (NOTEINDIA)
has strongly condemned the tactics adapted by Government of India in
Postponing the implementation date to display Pictorial warning on
spite of an urgent call for action by the shimla High court and the
civil Society Government has not indicated a final decision on the date
of nature of warning. It was deferred from June 1, 2007 and postponed
four times thereafter.
claims around 1 Million lives per year in India. The tall is likely to
exceed to 2 Million per year in the next 20 years. Unsuspecting poor
and illiterate people form the major chunk amongst the victims. Rampant
illiteracy demands the need to display Pictorial warnings on the
products. However, the Government has turned a nelson's eye to the
reality, obviously bowing before the dictates of Tobacco lobby.
the Tobacco Industry and Government have a duty to provide a clear
Communication of health risks of Tobacco use to potential and current
of India seems to have fallen prey to the argument of Tobacco Industry
that the display of Pictorial warnings would invite decline in
Consumption, thereby causing unemployment. This is manifestly untrue as
the decline in consumption is likely to be remain steady for next two
decades. Moreover, it will be offset by Growth in population.
warnings have been introduced in several developing & neighboring
nation like Thailand, Singapore, and Brazil, Chile, S. Africa &
Group of Ministers (GOM) has been convened by the Prime Minister to
examine the issue. This group includes shri. Pranab Mukharjee (Minister
Shri Jaipal Reddy (Minister for Urban Dept), Shri Priyaranjan Dasmunshi
(Minister for Parliamentary affairs), Shri Kamal Nath (Minister for
Commerce) Shri Oscar Fernandes (Minister for state Labour and
Employment & Dr. Ambumani Ramdoss (Minister for health & family
welfare). This GOM is likely to be biased in favor of the Tobacco
lobby. Shri Pranab Mukharjee for instance has a Massive presence of
beedee workers in his constituency. Andhra Pradesh, from where Mr.Jaypal Reddi hails, is also a Tobacco Growing state. Hence, one cannot expect a larger perspective and sane decision from the GOM.
of Pictorial warnings will not result in instant decline in sales. The
same will be slow and the Companies will have ample time to shift to
other greener pastures in terms of production and employment. The Total
Tobacco Industry, today in worth 45,000 Crores and public loss in terms
of tobacco related disease is 30,000 Crores. Another 15,000 Crores are
spent on tobacco Consumption. Thus, the industry as such cannot be
called productive or revenue generating especially at the cost of
innocent million lives.
Tobacco were to be introduced in the market, as on today, it would
never have seen light of the day, as the market would not entertain
instant killers. Hence, we request the Govt. of take instant decision
overruling petty claims and the interests of self-seeking industry. We
need to think in terms of long-term health of the nation in general. We hope better sense will prevail on GOM and GOI.
Dr Shekhar Salkar General Secretary NOTE India. Cell: 9822485769 Date: 12 Jauary 2008 Email: sssalkar@... ---------------------------------------