Ban advertising of smokeless tobacco: Experts

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Experts who gathered for a two-day national conference on smokeless tobacco control in Sector 39 are planning to recommend a ban on the advertising of all tobacco and smokeless tobacco products to the Union health ministry.

The conference, “Priorities in smokeless tobacco control—research and training needs,” commenced in the premises of the the National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research in Sector 39 on Monday, and will end on Tuesday.

According to the experts, the indirect advertisement of all tobacco products, and all products resembling tobacco products, should be banned as per Section 5 of COTPA Act and articles 11 and 13 of the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. This includes advertising of areca nut (supari), pan masala and dohra.

Nearly 27 experts from the field are attending the international conference, which focuses on the need for more research in the field of smokeless tobacco and the health problems it causes. Experts noted that smokeless tobacco, a cancer-causing agent, is being consumed by a majority of tobacco users in Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and Nepal, and that south-east Asia is home to 80% of the world’s smokeless tobacco users — most of whom belong to these four contries.

“Any product which is injurious to health in the FSS Act should not be advertised. While the Act says that smokeless tobacco products are injurious to health, it allows their advertising,” said Dr Amit Yadav, legal consultant, ICMR-NICPR

Source: Times of India