Banning e-cigarettes welcome, but why not banning normal cigarettes also

Kashmir Times. Dated: 9/20/2019 11:25:43 PM

Dear Editor,
Central government has taken welcome step in banning e-cigarettes citing one of the reasons that it is causing addiction amongst youngsters. But same is true for normal cigarettes also. Demands for banning manufacture and sale of cigarettes has been repeatedly raised. But unfortunately tobacco-lobby in India is so strong that it even managed super-powered Group of Ministers in earlier UPA regime to dilute area and design of pictorial-warnings on cigarette-packs against wishes of the then Union Health Minister Dr A Ramadoss and officials of Union Health Ministry. Proportion of pictorial-warning area on cigarette packs in India is lowest in the world with Brazil even having 100-percent area on both front and pack panels of cigarette-packs. Pictorial-warnings however bigger or stringent are totally useless and ineffective for smokers.
Only remedy is to follow countries like Bhutan and Ireland by imposing a complete ban on manufacture and sale of cigarettes in the country. Even family-members of smokers will support such a bold step, because it is the family which suffers from death of persons caused by smoking. Smoking is an addiction started out of fashion at the young age when initial puffs even cause discomfort. Revenue-loss from ban on cigarettes will be more than compensated by funds saved on tobacco-related diseases. If self-regulation is the policy to check human evils, then Union Government should withdraw attempt-to-suicide from Indian Penal Code. Likewise using helmets by scooterists should also be made self-regulatory rather than forced as compulsory.
—Madhu Agrawal,
1775 Kucha Lattushah
Dariba, Chandni Chowk



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