Report Abuse

SMOKING and Tobacco in India

Post a Comment
Smoking in India has started at least 5000 thousand years ago. Lord Shiva a Hindu mythological figure used Chillum, a pipe filled with some addictive substance for smoking, made by a bone of Yak. Some information about smoking in Indian history is given in Atharv-veda. Fumigation (Dhupa) and fire offerings (Homa) are given in Ayurveda for health purposes. Beedi a type of herbal cigarette made by betel nut and less amount of tobacco was also known by Indians while tobacco came in 1600s. Smoking on public places was banned from 2 October 2008 under prohibition of smoking in public places rule 2008 and COTPA. Someone caught smoking he will be charged 200 rupees. There are 12 crore smokers in India. According to W.H.O. 12% of world smokers live in India and 10 million die every year due to smoking.

Supreme Court of India said, 
"Tobacco is universally regarded as one of the major public health hazards and is responsible directly or indirectly for an estimated eight lakh deaths annually in the country. It has also been found that treatment of tobacco related diseases and the loss of productivity caused therein cost the country almost Rs. 13,500 crores annually, which more than offsets all the benefits accruing in the form of revenue and employment generated by tobacco industry". 
The first legislation regarding tobacco in India was Cigarette Act, 1975 which made it compulsory to specify statutory warning on cigarette packs in 1975. The cigarettes and other products tobacco Act, 2003 or COTPA received ascent from President on 18 May 2003 and it came in force on 1 May 2004. It extends to whole India including Jammu & Kashmir and is applicable to cigarettes, Cigar, Beedi, Gutka, Pan Masala (containing Tobacco), Mavva, Khaini and all products containing Tobacco in any form. Sale of Tobacco products within 100 yards of any Educational area was prohibited from 1 December 2004. International Institute of Population science and Ministry of health and Family welfare conducted a survey which revealed that 26% people in Jammu & Kashmir smoke, the highest rate. Maximum Beedi smokers are in Uttrakhand in India.

Chandigarh became the first smoke free city in 2007. In this way smoke free Chandigarh project became a success story. After this many cities like Shimla also started smoke free project to become smoke free cities. The success of Chandigarh was widely recognized and the architect of smoke free Chandigarh Hemant Goswami received Global smoke free partnership award. Rules, made pictorial warning compulsory came into force from 31 May 2009. The 7th section of COTPA deals with the display of pictorial warning on all tobacco products covering at least 40% of the package. The Cable Television Network regulation Bill came into force since 8 September 2000. It bans the tobacco and alcohol advertisement. From 2 October 2012, the government began screening two anti-tobacco advertisements, titled "Sponge" and "Mukesh", in movie theatres and on television. It is also compulsory for theatres to display a disclaimer on-screen whenever smoking scenes are depicted in the movie. The "Sponge" and "Mukesh" ads were replaced by new ads, titled "Child" and "Dhuan", from 2 October 2013. They made big change in smoker’s Mentality.

Bollywood has a long history of depicting characters smoking specially Hero. In this way Bollywood was glamorizing cigarettes. Youth learned smoking from these films. A smoking ban that prohibited films and television from displaying smoking was proposed by the Ministry of Health and Family welfare came into force in May 2005. Health Minister Anubumani Ramadoss claimed that the ban would protect the lives of millions of people who could become addicted to smoking under the influence of movies. The Delhi High Court overturned the ban in January 2009 saying that the ban was a form of censorship that restricted the right to freedom to speech. Anti-smoking ads must be screened at the beginning of the movie and during the interval. The nationwide smoking ban did not prohibit consumption of hookah in hookah bars. However, several cities in India have banned consumption of hookah in hookah bars. It is still legal to purchase hookahs at shops and consume them at home. Authorities generally apply Section 144 (Unlawful assembly) to shut down hookah bars. Governments also use the COTPA.

The ban on smoking and tobacco products has resulted in contradictions of law in India. Still it is necessary to ban smoking and tobacco to save the lives of 10 million people dying due to smoking every year. Furthermore it is also necessary to make people aware about the consequences of smoking and tobacco chewing. We must take a vow to make our country smoke and tobacco free for the sake of humanity.

Related Posts

Post a Comment