New Delhi,In an unprecedented move nearly 653 doctors of India and office bearers of medical societies all across India have urged the honourable prime minister to implement the new set of Pictorial Warning from 1st April 2016 and save millions of innocent women from getting widowed and kids from getting orphaned. These doctors are the witness to the death and disaster caused by tobacco consumption.
Doctors cutting across specialties have requested PM to step in to prevent powerful tobacco lobby from subverting the anti tobacco measures of the Government. The letter reminds Mr Modi of his message posted on the Facebook on 31st May 2014 - Let’s pledge to spread awareness on the risks of tobacco consumption & work to reduce tobacco consumption in India. Tobacco not only affects those consuming it but also people around. By saying no to tobacco, let us lay the foundation of a healthier India.
Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, Professor and Surgeon at Tata Memorial Hospital said that “ The FB message of Modi ji shows his personal commitment for this important public health issue. Plethora of medical evidence have proven beyond doubt that tobacco is the only consumer product that has no good use except causing disease, disability and death. We are very hopeful that he will do the best for the health of the nation.”
Dr PC Gupta, Director Sekhsaria Institute of Public Health, Navi Mumbai said “ It is unfortunate that the Committee on Subordinate Legislation is putting pressure to delay and dilute the notification for pictorial warning. They seem to be less bothered about devastation caused by tobacco but highly concerned about the wellbeing of the tobacco Industry.”
Sanjay Seth, Chief of Operations of Voice of Tobacco Victims Campaign said – “These are some of the shocking facts against Tobacco - Nearly 10 lac Indians die every year because of tobacco and nearly 50% cancers are attributable to tobacco. I am sure government knows the staggering statistics and serious about tobacco control.”
The doctors signing the petition said “We are committed to this important public health issue despite potential loss of our livelihood subsequent to effective tobacco control. We are not complaining because nation comes first ! It is unfortunate that COSL report is ignoring health of billions for the benefit of few lacs”
Dr Dilip Acharya, Chairman National Cancer Control Committee of Indian Medical Association said – “Large pictorial warning on tobacco packets is the most cost effective strategy to prevent youngsters from initiating the use and provokes current users to quit the habit. In a country where vast majority of users are less literate, effective pictorial warning carries tremendous value.
Dr Ashok Dhoble, Secretary, Indian Dental Association said “ it is established that large pictorial warnings cuts down the tobacco consumption. That is why the entire tobacco lobby has got united to subvert the notification.