Dealing With Tobacco Advertising in India

Indian smoker

Indian Government proposes more severe anti-tobacco measures to be implemented. In the country is acting an anti-tobacco law which bans direct and indirect advertisement of tobacco products. However, companies that produce gutka continue to illegally adevertise paan masala in different media which made the authorities search for way to fight it. Paan masala is a betel leaf filled with a mixture of chopped nuts and other spices.

Best news for the tobacco companies was ban in Bombay of Section 5 of COTPA (Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act) .This year in January the Supreme Court stayed the ban granted by the Bombay High Court. Subsequently, Keshav Desiraju, the family welfare secretary asked in a letter to the chief secretaries of all the Indian states to control the implementation of rules.

On the World No Tobacco Day the World Health Organization announced the major  theme of this day TAPS (tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship) ban. Therefore Sanjay Kumar, who is State Health Society executive director, proposed to launch a special campaign and revert to him by June 14.

In his declaration he says that although steering committees have been established on district-level, however, regular meetings are not held and execution of anti-tobacco rules remains problematic question.

Kumar is awaiting to get any response. When TOI got to him on Tuesday, he sent this reporter to Dr N K Mishra ,the state nodal officer for tobacco control, And N K Mishra said that nobody from DMs have responded yet and they will send them reminders.

Last month took place a meeting on TAPS under the chairmanship of Kumar in Patna. They decided to create a state-level flying squad to control the implementation of the ban on the ads of tobacco products in the state.

Besides this, they proposed that the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) and the district nodal officer for tobacco control would do the needful in this regard in Patna.

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