ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Tobacco : What about the Follow-Up?

Tobacco : What about the Follow-Up?

The cabinet’s decision to present to parliament in the budget session a comprehensive bill controlling the marketing of tobacco products is in some ways a bold move. Laterally, it can in the weeks between now and the budget session easily become one of the least effective but high profile pieces of legislation to be passed by the current government.

The cabinet's decision to present to parliament in the budget session a comprehensive bill controlling the marketing of tobacco products is in some ways a bold move. Laterally, it can in the weeks between now and the budget session easily become one of the least effective but high profile pieces of legislation to be passed by the current government.

The extensive debate on tobacco use and its effects cannot leave anyone with any doubt about the need for some regulation of its use. The point of contention is who should introduce the controls and what levels of monitoring are required. Should the state introduce controls: ban tobacco products and their marketing? Should industry be left to adopt regulatory measures? Or whether in the interests of free choice people should be allowed to make up their own minds on using tobacco. The ground for introducing legislative measures has been in the making for some time on various fronts. Although legal cases in the US have been settled out of court, the evidence of the damage tobacco use causes has been substantial enough for the WHO to declare that the tobacco industry should be eliminated eventually. In India, according to government sources, an estimated Rs 13,517 crore is spent on tobacco-related illnesses. And WHO statistics show that the major expansion of the tobacco market is taking place in the developing countries and especially among the young.

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