Indore (Madhya Pradesh): The National Health Mission (NHM) has banned advertisements of tobacco products at garba pandals during Navratri and also asked organisers not to accept advertisements of these products—directly or indirectly. The NHM has also directed all district collectors and superintendents of police to ensure that no tobacco products are advertised directly or indirectly at these pandals.
“The move has been taken to discourage consumption of tobacco in the state. It has been observed that some organisers allow indirect advertisements of tobacco products in the form of sponsorship or partnerships with them,” NHM director Priyanka Das mentioned in her letter.
The NHM director has also asked organisers to prohibit smoking at garba pandals, publicise methods of tobacco cessation by putting up ‘quit tobacco’ posters, organise events to encourage people to quit tobacco consumption and display the ‘quit tobacco’ helpline.
The NHM also emphasised increasing consumption of tobacco in reference to the GATS-2 report which states that over 1.3 million people in our country die every year due to consumption of tobacco. About 50.2 per cent men and 17.3 per cent women consume tobacco in the state.
Along with welcoming the orders of the NHM on the ban of tobacco advertisements, the Indian Medical Association has raised concerns over its implementation.
‘Implementation is a challenge: IMA’
‘We welcome the orders of the government meant to discourage the consumption of tobacco products. However, implementation of this order is challenging and the government should focus on enforcing it to get the impact of such orders’
— Dr Dilip Acharya, national chairman, IMA Tobacco Control Committee
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