“The battle against tobacco is a personal fight for me. As an ENT surgeon, I’ve been first-hand witness to how it destroys not just the user, but the entire family. I am a votary for a complete ban on tobacco and its products on the World No Tobacco Day to nip the evil in the bud,” Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Health Minister, Govt of India tweeted.
According to the World Health Organisation, every year the tobacco industry spends over $9 billion to advertise its products. Increasingly, it’s targeting youth with nicotine and tobacco products to replace the 8 million people that its products kill every year.
This year’s World No Tobacco Day campaign focuses on protecting children and young people from exploitation by the tobacco and related industry.
The WHO said even during the global pandemic, the tobacco and nicotine industry persisted by pushing products that limited people’s ability to fight coronavirus and recover from the disease.
The industry offered free branded masks and doorstep delivery during quarantine and lobbied for their products to be listed as ‘essential’. Over 40 million young people, aged 13-15 years, had started to use tobacco, it added.