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Now, principals can penalise tobacco sellers

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A notification, aimed mainly at checking minors falling prey to the clutches of tobacco, has been sent for the Law Ministry’s approval, after wh­ich it will become operational.

“The notification has been sent to the Union Law Ministry. We hope to release it in two weeks,” Kesav Desiraju, additional secretary in the Union Health Ministry said.

Currently, such powers are vested with the health and police officials, often leading to slackening in the implementation of anti-tobacco rules.

Tobacco kills 7,00,000 to one million Indians every year. Many are victims of mouth cancer caused by smokeless tobacco.

Nicotine is well abso­rbed from smokeless tobacco and remain elevated for a lo­nger duration. Continuous use of smokeless tobacco also le­ads to shrinkage of heart vessels.

Insidious effect

Even as smokeless tobacco continues to be a matter of concern for policy makers, beedi remains the second common tobacco product whose effects are more insidious than cigarette. The Ministry in association with the World Lung Foundation has launched its first mass-media campaign to create awareness about the ill effects of smoking. To be aired shortly on radio and television channels in 14 Indian languages, the one-month media campaign will urge people to kick the butts for a healthy life.

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