Mumbai : In the wake of the government’s decision of delaying pictorial warnings on tobacco products, medical fraternity has urged the government to reconsider its decision and to stick to raising the warnings from 40 per cent to 85 per cent. They claim that it’s high time the government takes up the onus of controlling and eventually eradicating tobacco consumption by creating awareness and educating people, especially the younger generation, about hazards of tobacco consumption.
In India, there are 27.5 crore tobacco consumers while in Maharashtra there are 2.3 crore consumers who are addicted to tobacco. Tobacco kills every third consumer prematurely, through cancer, heart attack and lung diseases, studies have revealed.
Speaking on the matter, Dr Meghal Sanghvi, consultant oncologist surgeon at Wockhardt Hospital in Mumbai Central told FPJ, “I am in strong support of pictorial warnings as well as complete ban on all tobacco products. The government should have taken a strong step long back, but unfortunately nothing has been done. A smoker loses eight years of his life due to his addiction. Hence, these pictorial warnings will educate people about the ill-effects of tobacco, which will be a step ahead in the control of tobacco consumption.”
Reiterating Dr. Sanghvi’s view, Dr Adwait Gore, consultant oncologist surgeon at Kohinoor Hospital, said, “These warnings are definitely a step forward in the direction of saving those people’s lives who die of cancer every day. But in my opinion, a lot more needs to be done. For firsts, the government should start educating school children by showing presentations on ill-effects of tobacco. This way, they will be more informed and will restrain themselves from consuming tobacco”.
He further emphasised that considering the rising number of deaths owing to cancer, the government should take immediate and strong actions against tobacco consumption.
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