World No Tobacco Day – 2021
Annually, more than 10 lakh deaths in India are attributable to tobacco use, in all its forms. More than 20 lakhs of young people start using tobacco every year, which leads to addiction while making them vulnerable to many health conditions. As Tobacco is one of the four major drivers to the epidemic increase in non-communicable diseases in India (Hypertension, diabetes, lung diseases etc), it is crucial to pay attention to the health and developmental repercussions of tobacco by its users, especially young people. In the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic, tobacco use paves ways for further health complications to the individuals who consume it. Chewing tobacco leads to spitting in public places which is an additional public health menace.
The government has introduced policies and enforcement measures such as a ban on e-cigarettes, the sale of single sticks, etc. from time to time. COTPA promotes the ban on smoking in public places and all direct advertisements and addresses many other issues as well. However, implementation of these measures hit a roadblock due to complex socio-politico-economic reasons. We believe public pressure on the system could result in narrowing the enforcement gaps be it checking advertisements or sale of tobacco products near educational institutions and to minors.