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: 30.05.2 0 1 5

PMK Youth Wing President Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss Statement

WORLD NO TOBACCO DAY: PLEDGE


TO CREATE A TOBACCO FREE WORLD
31st of May is observed as World No Tobacco Day. The purpose ofobserving such a day is to encourage
people all over the world to stop using tobacco products for one full day.
Tobacco is one of the biggest killers of humankind. Every year 60 lakh people die due to tobacco use
all over the world. Researches show that out of this, 6 lakh people die due to passive smoking. 10 lakh
people die in India due to tobacco use every year. Tobacco causes a wide range of diseases like
cancers of oral cavity, lung, stomach, liver, urogenital system and other organs, pulmonary diseases,
cardiac illnesses, vascular diseases, impotence, infertility and a number of other serious diseases.
Tobacco can affect any part of the body. The biggest challenge before us to drive away this evil from
India.
Pattali Makkal Katchi and the Pasumai Thayagam founded by Dr. Ramadoss have registered notable
victories in the war against tobacco. When I, a member of the PMK party, was the Minister for Health
initiated stringent measures to control tobacco use. Due to my efforts smoking in public places was
prohibited. Mandating printing of pictorial warnings on tobacco products, screening of warning messages
during smoking scenes in Television and cinema were some of the other measures taken by me during
my tenure as the Minister of Health.
It is painful to observe that these rules and regulations introduced by me were not strictly followed
now. The size of the pictorial warnings over the packs of tobacco products should have been increased
from 40% to 85% from the 1st of April. But due to controversial recommendations of a Parliamentary
Committee influenced by a couple of MPs who were lobbying for tobacco industry, this was kept in
abeyance. Though it was widely publicised that the Prime Minister himself had intervened and ordered
for bigger warning pictures over the tobacco packs nothing changed in practice.
Former Minister for Health, Harshvardhan came forward to make the tobacco control law even more
stringent by bringing certain amendments. Expanding the ban of use of tobacco to more places,
increasing the fine for smoking in public places to Rs. 1000, increasing the penalty for selling tobacco

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products without warning signs to Rs. 1 lakh were some of the amendments proposed. But the tobacco
industry successfully lobbied and he was shifted from the ministry and the amendments were scuttled.
This shows that the union government is not committed to eradicate the evils of tobacco. Pasumai
Thaygam is starting a movement on the 31st of May at Chennai, to secure 10 lakh signatures demanding
enactment of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation
of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Amendments Actto further curtail the
use of tobacco and reduce its ill effects, during the forthcoming Parliamentary session itself. I myself
is inaugurating the campaign.
It is the duty of the society to avoid the use of tobacco and propagate its evils among fellow humans.
PMK wishes to reiterate its call for the day Temporarily stop tobacco use today; permanently stop
tobacco use from tomorrow. Let us pledge to replace the trays filled with ashes with roses from today.
Yours,

Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss