Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan
-- ANI

New Delhi: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has appealed to all states and UTs to ban sale of smokeless tobacco products and spitting in public places in line with the orders of the Rajasthan and Jharkhand governments to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection.

In a letter to all state health ministers, Vardhan said smo­ke­less tobacco users have a tendency to spit in public places or otherwise and so, increase health risks especially those of spreading contagious diseases like COVID-19, TB, swine flu, encephalitis and others. “Use of smokeless tobacco also cre­a­tes an unhygienic environment which further spr­eads the diseases. Large gathering at the retail outlets where smokeless tobacco prod­ucts are sold, also pose the risk of spread of COVID-19,” he said. In the letter dated May 11, the Union minister underlined tobacco use is a major threat to public health globally. He also mentioned the Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) appeal to public not to consume and spit smokeless tob­acco products in public places.

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