Consumer VOICE

Tobacco – A Menace Among Children

The prevalence of tobacco smoking in India among minors aged between 15-17 years and adolescents between 18-24 years has reduced according to the latest GATS-2 (Global Adult Tobacco Survey) report of 2016-17. The situation is still alarming and remains a serious cause for concern . The Indian government has taken some measures to curb this deadly menace with the implementation of COTPA or the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 (COTPA).

This move brought in by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is aimed at preventing exposure of children to tobacco products. “It is felt that the regulation of tobacco products can be made more effective. It will be appropriate to develop a mechanism to provide permission or authorisation through municipal authority to the retail shops who are selling tobacco products,” stated Arun Kumar Jha, economic adviser in the ministry of health and family welfare, in a letter dated 21 September 2017.

“Further, it would also be appropriate to make a condition or provision in the authorisation that the shops authorised for selling tobacco products cannot sell any non-tobacco products such as toffees, candies, chips, biscuits, soft drinks, etc., which are essentially meant for non-user, especially children,” Jha said in the letter.

Despite the preventive steps being taken by the government, we as responsible citizens should ensure that our children, who are the future, should not be exposed to smoking. Parents should quit smoking so that children not only stop from getting exposed to second-hand smoking but also follow their parents as role 

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