Hearing a PIL filed by advocate Sneha Marjadi highlighting the shortage of oxygen, Remdesivir and other essential medical equipment for treating the COVID-19 patients, a division bench of the Bombay High Court of Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta and Justice Girish Kulkarni on Thursday noted that smoking was a contributory factor for COVID-19. “Is there any study to show that smoking worsens the case?” CJ Datta asked Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni. On getting a negative reply, the bench asked the AG to convey to the authorities to consider a study on smoking and COVID-19. “Let there be data on those dead, were they smokers?”
Intervening in the hearing, Advocate Dhruti Kapadia told the bench that she had come across a study by a foreign country, which had concluded that tobacco and smoking were major factors in COVID-19 and worsened the case of a patient.
“We believe this is a national emergency. It’s high time the Union government considers temporarily banning the sale of tobacco products, so as to ensure that people don’t consume them during the pandemic. At least this will save some lives,” the CJ observed.