Rajasthan minister says banning tobacco 'foolish'

17 Feb 2017 | By Supriya
Rajasthan not keen on a tobacco ban?

Rajasthan Health Minister Kali Charan Saraf has called suggestion to ban tobacco in the state as "foolish".

The minister said banning tobacco would lead to massive losses in revenue, increased cases of smuggling and therefore ruled out possibility of a tobacco ban.

These statements were made to media subsequent to a foreign delegation's visit which was studying Rajasthan's efforts to control tobacco consumption.

In context: Rajasthan not keen on a tobacco ban?

Tobacco menace in India

Tobacco use leads to death of one million Indians every year which is almost 2200 deaths daily. Cigarettes account for only 11% of overall tobacco consumption whereas 89% of tobacco consumed in India is bidis, chewing tobacco, khaini etc.

AboutRajasthan's crackdown on tobacco

Tobacco is a leading cause of death in the state of Rajasthan.

Annually almost 50,000 deaths are attributed to consumption of tobacco that is nearly 136 deaths every day.

To stamp out this menace, Rajasthan was the first Indian state to ban gutkha.

However according to authorities, ban's implementation was poor and gutkha remained easily accessible to the poor.

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17 Feb 2017Rajasthan minister says banning tobacco 'foolish'

Oral cancer patients highest in India

Anti-tobacco crusader Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi said recently that according to available data India was home to the highest number of oral cancer patients. Increasingly, tobacco use has resulted n increased cases of neck and head cancer in youth.
Political parties and activists lash out

Who said whatPolitical parties and activists lash out

Rajathan's Congress unit said it was unfortunate on part of a senior leader to make such statements.

Dharamveer Katewa, Secretary, Indian Asthma Care Society said, "If he's talking about revenue loss, then he should know Rs.1160 crore is spent on treating diseases caused by tobacco."

Pawan Singhal of 'Voice of Tobacco Victims' said banning tobacco was singularly effective in preventing head and neck cancers.