New Delhi: For the first time, tobacco products will not be sold in any shops in Tamil Nadu on Friday to mark World No Tobacco Day.
According to the New Indian Express, president of the Tamil Nadu Vanikargal Sangangalin Peravai, T. Vellaiyan, announced the decision. “We have sent communication to all our members. No shop in the state will sell tobacco products tomorrow,” said Vellaiyan.
According to a study conducted by Adyar Cancer Institute, 14% of the shops selling tobacco products are located close to educational institutions. Dr V. Shanta, chairperson of Adyar Cancer Institute said, “The move is aimed at creating awareness and helping with measures to contain the increasing usage of tobacco products.”
Responding to the study, Vellaiyan said that the traders had been instructed not to sell tobacco products near education institutes and schools but the practice continues. “We have to reduce the sale step-by-step,” he said.
According to the Hindu, Shanta has also urged the government to implement tobacco vendor licensing at the earliest. Under this rule, shopkeepers would be obliged to obtain licenses to sell cigarettes and beedis and would stand a chance of losing their licenses if they violate the rules laid down by the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003.
The World Health Organisation’s annual campaign aims at raising awareness on the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure. The WHO has also stated that the focus of World No Tobacco Day 2019 will be on “tobacco and lung health.”