Do Anti-Smoking Drives Work?


Health warning on cigarette packet Singapore became the first country in Asia in 2004 to show graphic warnings featuring gory images to increase awareness about the health risks attached to smoking. In fact, the law required the cigarette packs to have up to 50 percent of its front and back cover showing the image; taking its anti-smoking campaign to the next level.

Likewise, in the UK, a £6.3 million hard-hitting anti-smoking campaign was released targeting the teen population. This campaign spoke the language of the teens. It highlighted how smoking can affect sex lives because of impotence, bad teeth, wrinkles and the unattractive smell that lingers after lighting up.

In India too, some hard-hitting campaigns and jingles like, "With a cigarette in my hand, I felt like a man," people were exposed to the harsh realities of smoking. Recently, Aamir Khan, who believes in promoting a social cause, supported the anti-smoking drive in his latest release, Ghajini. The scene, which has drawn accolades from the anti-smoking lobby, showed gang of hooligans smoking in a mall which is objected to by one of the actress.

Mild Seven Cigarette pack pictorial warning Efforts like these work as they portray public smoking as an illegal activity,
and that is why Union Health Minster Anbumani Ramadoss is aiming at seeking an increase in budgetary allocation for the anti-tobacco campaign and plans to use part of cess collected from tobacco sales for the purpose.

The government now plans to intensify its public awareness programme. The minister claims that, "90 per cent (success) was achieved by public awareness and voluntary compliance and 10 per cent by the authorities."

At present, the budgetary allocation for anti-tobacco campaign is Rs 450 crore and Ramadoss would seek to increase it by another Rs 100-125 crore annually to push it forward. So, whether or not the budget is allocated, let’s do our bit by supporting the cause, and stop people from smoking in public places, because it's our right.

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Pictorial warning on cigarette pack

Graphics on cigarette packets

Parental Smoking is Injurious to Child's Health


Protect children from smoke You may have found your reasons to smoke and to accept it as a part of your life. And, you may have all right reasons to overlook the ill-effects of smoking. But, how about giving your child a reason to choose what it wants?

So, here are some facts that might make you revisit your habit. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in the United States about 6,000 adolescent turn into smokers almost every day. Most of these have been to exposed to smoke at an early age. Hence, they have somewhere accepted the fact that it's okay to be seen with a cigarette. Further, WHO also cited that every day over 15 million children are exposed to smoke in their homes.

In a study conducted by Salaam Bombay Foundation with 6351 students under the age of 18 from 19 municipal and private schools it was found that over 40% of their parents consumed tobacco. This in itself is a matter of great concern as parents using tobacco leads to more social acceptability and a role model in their minds.

If numbers look big, try this. It is understood that passive smoking has greater effect on children than adults. It’s not just about accepting it as a part of life, but these children are prone to higher health risks.

The term scientifically described as Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), and popularly referred to as passive smoking possess the ability to cause cancer in human. If the exposure to ETS happens on a regular basis before the age of 10 years, there are high chances that the child can develop lymphoma and leukemia (cancers of the blood) as an adult.

But, not all children fall under that category. Some may face regular health problems like increased risk of cold, wheezing, shortness-of-breath, risk of developing asthma and a weak immune system. The list doesn’t stop here. There are enough studies and reports to highlight more risks and diseases in children. So, do take a look at them, before it’s too late. Here’s wishing your child a healthy life!

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Smoking Warnings

Mumbai Speaks on Tobacco Use in India


With the 14th World Conference on Tobacco or Health to take place in Mumbai in March, India Matters went out on the streets to find out the common man's take on Tobacco!

What's your opinion on tobacco usage, send a video or post a comment on India Matters, here's your chance to be heard as we reach out to the policy makers present during the event.

Gutkha the Mouth Freshener that Kills


Gutka VendorWe’ve heard the saying, good things come in small packages. But, there is an antithesis to this. It’s called Gutkha. Sold in pocket size packages that cost anywhere between Re 1 to Rs 4, Gutka has some adverse effects.

Prepared from crushed betel nut, tobacco and sweet or savoury flavourings, ghutka can catch the fancy of almost anyone. This mild stimulant can cause cancer of lungs, lips, tongue, oral cavity, throat and larynx, uterus and urinary bladder and several other tobacco-related diseases.

In India, it is consumed by both adult and children, in equal numbers. In fact, most ghutka manufactures market the product to children by referring to it as a candy or mouth fresheners. For instance, there are packs that highlight, chocolate-flavoured or mint and so on. Most of these packets don’t even highlight tobacco as an ingredient. Even, if they do, the exact percentage is not mentioned.

Apart from marketing, in India chewing of tobacco or consuming in the form of gutkha, is not frowned upon. So, many use this form of consumption as an alternative to cigarette smoking. Though an alternative at the start, it is believed to cause the need to smoke in an individual at a later stage, and also poses a threat of becoming a habit that is difficult to quit.

As reported in one of the leading national dailies, in India, 85 per cent of tobacco consumption is in the form of khaini, ghutka (both flavoured chewing tobacco) and beedi, a large market for which thrives in rural areas and smaller towns.

This highly addictive products, has been a subject of controversy in India for many years. Many states have either tried to curb its sales by levying heavy taxes or have laid a complete ban on the usage. But, is a ban really the answer? What we really need to use, is the power of education that will help eradicate the need by choice and not by force.
School children in India with Submucus Fibrosis due to chewing tobacco, most cases result in cancer

Is Smoking a State of Mind?


With a cigarette in my hand I feel like a man The ill-effects of smoking are not a new revelation. But, most smokers spin a surprise look, when they hear about the harmful effects of smoking. However, there is little to wonder, after all, smoking is nothing but the effect of psychoactive drug nicotine and its stimulating effects on the brain.

Basically, what the drug does is create a pleasurable effect on the smoker, and once it’s inhaled, more often than not people start depending on the drug. Thus, turning non-smokers into smokers.

The reasons for inhaling that first drag could be plenty. And, most of it is the state of mind. Haven’t you heard of reasons like, "Everyone around me smokes, so how can I be seen without a light?" or "It tingles my creative brain" or "A cigarette makes me feel confident." But have you realised that these are nothing but make believe situations created by you. What you are doing here is playing mind games with yourself.

Remember, smokers are not considered stylish or crass. The habit of smoking is what makes a person. So, if it’s just about a habit, then one can adapt a new habit that is not just chic, but healthy for everyone. Isn’t it? So, instead of creating excuses, use your mind to imagine yourself as a non-smoker every night before you go to sleep.

It is believed that your subconscious mind will work on the last thoughts before you retire for the day. I know, it’s easy to preach, but it is still worth a shot. And, we are sure that if your mind takes it seriously, you may even be able to come up with a book on interesting facts on how to use your state of mind to quit smoking. So, go on and play some mind games.

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Smoking Effects

India Matter's Polls on Tobacco


We conducted two polls for three weeks, which were based on your views about tobacco use in India and its ill-effects. Here the results -

Among the substances that are widely available, which one do you think is the most addictive?

The options were Alcohol, Tobacco, Tea, Cocaine and Coffee. Out of 203 votes we received during this time, 54% agreed that tobacco is more harmful than other substances, followed by alcohol which received 18% of the votes. In fact nicotine is not only as addictive as alcohol, tea and coffee, but even more addictive then psychoactive drugs like heroin and cocaine.
Polls on tobacco
The next poll was on the smoking ban imposed at public places in October, 2008.

Do you feel that people abide by the law that bans smoking in public places?

Out of the 197 people who voted, 57% people feel that the authorities need to get more strict when it comes to implementing the law, while 18% have seen people smoking in public places.
Poll results

An Award-Winning Anti-Smoking Commercial


An award-winning commercial on the harmful effects of smoking. Its done quite well, the video shows a group of youngsters going to a tobacco company to question about cigarette smoke.

Passive Smoking: A Bigger Threat


Passive smoking We are all aware of the statutory warning: Cigarette Smoking is Injurious to Health. But, what most of us don’t realise is that exposure to smoke is a bigger threat.

Yes, passive smoking is more harmful than we think. According to a study released by Stanford University, a brief exposure to second hand tobacco smoke can cause similar damage or more damage to non-smokers than smokers. In fact, if one is exposed to outdoor passive smoking it is even more dangerous.

Experts say the reason is simple: there are enough pollutants in the air and this air combined with toxic pollutants produced while smoking makes it really worse, which in turn poses higher health risk.

So, the next time you are outside with your friends or family, try and spare a thought on the risks you could pass on, before you light a smoke. And, it’s not that passive smoking indoors is any safer. It might pose a little less threat than outdoor passive smoking, but the effects and risks are almost similar. Passive smoking is more harmful than smoking cigarettes

These health hazards could be asthma, chronic bronchitis, breathlessness at night and even irregular heartbeat. If you have been smoking in the company of your non-smoker friends or family for a long time, chances are that they could be facing a risk of premature death or non-fatal heart attacks.

If numbers is what you are likely to believe, then here is some fact. In 2006, a report released in the US, stated that second hand cigarette smoke or passive smoking exposed about 126 million people at risk of heart disease, lung cancer and death.

Here’s a thought, you may have felt like a man or in control with that puff of smoke, but can you put yourself at a high pedestal, when you could be responsible for your friends’ or loved ones health.

Quitting is Hard, Not Quitting is Harder


Lets take a look at this anti-tobacco advertisement that talks about the gory warnings on packets, and I should warn you it is a tough one to watch. Through our recent online communications we have realised that some people do not want gory pictures on cigarette packets.

Its interesting, with reasons such as children would see these terrifying images on discarded packets. While some think it will really help bring down the amount of smokers. Personally I feel that people need to know what their habits can lead to and the facts should be on paper so why not?

Anyway heres this hard hitting advertisement:

Smoking in Indian Films


NoIn 2005, the then I&B Minister, Jaipal Reddy, said, “A cinematic classic like Shatranj ke Khiladi cannot be made without the hookah,” proposing an exemption for films based on literary classics.

This was followed by the health ministry’s proposal to ban smoking in films by notifying the Cigarette and Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Amendment Rules 2005.

Despite, evoking the much debate on creative expression, the central government notified the ban in October 2006. But, director Mahesh Bhatt challenged the ruling in Delhi High court, and he was supported by many filmmakers.

And, to their relief, in January 2009, the Delhi High Court quashed the central government’s notification banning on-screen smoking on grounds that it violates the fundamental rights of filmmakers.

John Abraham no smokingA single judge bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, said, “Banning smoking in films violated filmmakers’ fundamental rights of freedom of expression and speech as enshrined in the Constitution of India. Also, the film directors should not have multifarious authorities breathing down their necks when indulging in a creative act.”

It is felt that in addition to creative expression, films depict reality of life and smoking plays a vital role in our daily lives. However, if there is a fear that such films will have a negative impact on young minds, then the decision to allow smoking or not in certain films, should be left to the Censor board. This clearly calls for responsible display of smoking and tobacco consumption in films.

Besides, constitutional or not, one cannot make Devdas without a bottle of alcohol in his hands or the modern day Dev D, without a puff of smoke. But, yes the ministry is not completely wrong with it tries to urge all of us to kick the butt on a more personal front.

Lets take a look at some popular actresses smoking in Hollywood movies. This is not just used as advertisement techniques for a particular brand but to lure teenagers to this vice.

You can also watch the documentary on Tobacco in Indian Movies and read about the effects of smoking on woman.

Powerful Message on Smoking


A powerful ad on smoking. It sends out a clear message stating the hazards of tobacco for men. Watch it to see more -


Most youngsters start smoking out of curiosity and after getting inspired by people in their homes, neighbourhoo, streets.. In fact, I have seen many people sending their children to shops to get tobacco related products. The smoke, coming out of one's lungs and stimulation of brain by nicotene, appeals to 12-15 yr old children. However, they remain oblivious to the damage that is being done from inside. Educational institutions who take children out on school trips to dairy farms and science centres must also take older children (8th-10th grade) to hospitals like Tata Cancer Hospital and help them understand the evils of tobacco usage. Hospitals should open such exhibits showcasing the harmful effect of tobacco to one's anatomy.
Mohammad Sabir, Mumbai

Even if the Govt banned tobacco products, everybody knows it will still be available in the market by other means and people who are addicted will still purchase tobacco even though they will have to pay more.

But still there are certain points that I would like to HIGHLIGHT regarding the steps our Govt should take before implementing a ban on Tobacco...

You might be aware that Tobacco cannot be sold to kids under 18...right? But does everyone follow that, not really...I have seen various panwallahs who sell tobacco to children who start smoking because they think thats cool...So first the Govt should takes steps to avoid this, and the next thing that comes to light is the bribe scene. Now the Govt already knows that if they have to make the system more STRICT then they will have to first stop taking bribes...Which is not gonna happen that quick in India. You know in USA and Aus if you sell a Smoke (or even Liquor) to under 18 you can get a ticket (FINE) of $100-500. So my ques is can't the Govt implement this system in INDIA?

Other thing that the Govt can do is build SMOKING ZONE where all the smokers can smoke without harassing other people. I mean people are annoyed if someone standing near them is smoking. Smokers have nothing to do with other people and just want to finish their NICOTINE intake.

Regarding the Environment, I think there are plenty of other HIGH PRIORITY issues that the Govt should deal with first. Instead of announcing that due to SMOKING habits of people the environment is getting polluted.

The last thing which comes to my mind is that the Govt should make people aware of what Tobacco addiction can lead them to. Right now I am in Aus and whatever cigs I buy, come with photographs of various forms of Cancer caused by Tobacco Addiction to make smokers aware what they are doing with their system and what trouble it can cause, there are lots of instructions about HOW YOU CAN QUIT SMOKING and if you need some advise then call the QUITLINE, instead of just displaying the manufacturers name on the pack of a cigs.

Im glad you're dealing with such an important matter. My opinion on tobacco and the Govt rules and regulations behind it are:-

1) Even if you covered the whole cigarette carton with images of cancer patients it won't help, tobacco addiction is much deeper.
2) We need to remove the image that surrounds a smoker of being more mature, cool, rich etc. because most of the time its the image that smoking creates in a person that gets to him and makes sure he stays addicted and songs like B.C.Sutta are good examples of it.
3) Smoking is a personal thing so its more upto the parents and friends to get the smokers off the death road.
4) The police need to be more vigilant and serious about the ban on smoking in public places, since I myself have smoked in front of a full jeep of policemen in public place.
5) People should stop shunning smokers and labeling smoking as a taboo, because its something thats been going on since ages.
6) Mostly every teen has tried smoking at least once and a fairly large percentage of those continue smoking for a good year or two before they realise what they are doing and quit, while a certain percentage of people out of it become habitual smokers.
7) Our lives are becoming increasingly gloomy day by day, it gives the weak ones another excuse to smoke and they begin a self-pitying cycle and think that they need cigarettes to survive, they begin to get dependent on tobacco as if it were food.

What I suggest is to come out of the reprimanding view of the anti-smoking ads going on nowadays and come clean about the real dangers of smoking. Dont treat it as a disease instead make them think of it as a choice that the smoker takes everytime he smokes and what he pays with in return. Be concise and to the fact, no one pays attention when you're reprimanding them.

And also work on alternative means of smoking, since smoking is ingrained in our culture since we know about it. Its gone too deep to be taken care of so fast. We need to give a choice to smoking cigarettes with less harmful ways like better filters or better treated tobacco or vaporisers.
Amit Shukla, Mumbai

I would just say that anybody who loves life should hate tobacco as its a slow poison that kills you.

I believe increasing tax on tobacco would give the company more revenue because people are definitely not going to stop smoking even if the price hikes instead they would end up spending more than usual.
Krish, Bhubaneswar

I have tried smoking for the pleasure of trying things and I hated it. Moreover, like other habits, drinking and Gutkha, smoking not only spoils ones health but also of people around the one who smokes and that is one reason I am sure everyone will want to ban smoking. So more than banning any other items, cigarettes are of primary concern.

I guess that will also help reduce the worst disease like cancer which has no medicine. People know that smoking, drinking and using Gutkha is highly injurious to health and yet they do. So that cant be stopped. As I mentioned earlier out of these things, atleast smoking should be banned in order to save not just the smokers but the innocent people around them. All the best for your efforts.

SMOKING is like blowing away your precious life in smoke and also harming the life of others. I have never smoked and never will. I cant stand smoking and smokers and thats the reason I have picked up few quarrels in public places like parks, cinema halls etc. In my view, though cigratte smoking is the most visible form of smoking the one which harms the most is use of raw chewing tobacco in rural and backward areas and to certain extent in urban areas.

Raw tobacco is still being consumed and its not only men but women also who cherish chewing tobacco. It is also used in many forms as a medicine which it is not. It is due to all cultural and religious ill beliefs that people use it. I strongly support the ban on smoking in public places similarly there should be pictures of ill effects of smoking on cigarette packs. Also its sale should be checked to underage youngsters.

Yes it is very harmful for present and future genaerations. It has to be stopped, so how?
1.Warn the retailer of Pan beedi shops to not sell their items to Kids
2.Warn the Tobacco comsumer against smoking in front of kids
3.Warn the media to not accept sponsorship from tobacco companies.
Rahul, Mumbai

One can't ask the smokers to quit abruptly, you need to give them alternatives. The other thing one needs to cut down is the supply from the manufacturer's end. Putting higher taxes, is one inefficient means, but probably putting limit to quantity being manufactured and creating gap between demand and supply, should do the trick. You have both the consumer as well as the supplier of tobacco and its allied products will be affected.

What exactly we need today is one-on-one counselling and strengthening the minds of all those people who have been addicted to it, one-on-one will be a very tedious job but you can collect a handful of such people and counsel on the second. This means you can organise a 1-hour movie for all of them by showing all inspirational videos which will help build positivity in them as what I think the root cause of this problem is negativity and thoughts which compel them to do so.

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Smoking is a silent killer be it in one form or the other. To add to it a lot of people are exposed to Passive Smoking which is even more harmful or equally bad for an individual. The initiative by the Government to ban smoking in public places was a good move and it is high time something similar is brought about with regards to consumption of Gutka or just Tobacco in the country. The Government needs to have more initiatives to make the public more aware of the harmful effects of Tobacco, just like we have the Ring the Bell Campaign, something similar should be highlighted. What is even more disgusting is the consumption of Tobacco and its misuse on public property. The Government should have stringent rules in order to keep the city clean and dirt free.

Its BAD, we know that it creates a lot of health problems for people who consume it, although it is a high revenue earner for the govt, it should be allowed only in exceptional cases. It makes people addictive and finally takes their lives, this leads to personal, financial and physical issues among the person consuming it day in and day out. Its a small poison in itself, people consume it first and then it consumes the same people later. It takes a lot of lives every year and the count is ever-increasing.
Mitul Shantilal Rambhia, Mumbai

I am all for complete eradication of tobacco. But then we should also ensure that the plantation workers are adequately rehabilitated.

Tobacco specially the unprocessed one should be banned in India so much so that not so many variants are sold any where else in the world. Gutkha is the worst of all and it takes its toll in the form of mouth cancer and bad teeth etc. I cant stand a guy chewing Gutkha. Smoking is equally bad but regarded a fashion which is not good. Indian cigarettes do not even mention nicotine content. It should be made mandatory. Overall in my view Tobacco should be banned immediately and its farming should also be banned. People should be encouraged and educated to get rid of it and stay away from it.

The use of tobacco in our country is increasing day by day. The govt is not implementing any new plan for this. Any plan the govt has laid, has not worked. In the case of farmers who cultivate tobacco, if the govt bans tobacco, then they will starve, one good thing the govt can do for the farmer is help them cultivate other crops. But how will the govt shut down, because the manufacturers pay huge bribe to the govt. The most addicted to tobacco are teenagers who get influenced by the media and tobacco ads. Tobacco is one of the most dangerous things, and the youth can't understand its harmful effect. The thing we can do for the ones addicted is to igve proper counselling and treatment.
Filosh Mohan, Gujarat

As far as concerned with banning tobacco ,then frankly speaking it will make employed people instead of banning tobacco we should put restriction or there should be some law for not selling tobaccos to minor.
Rajiv, Mumbai

I feel that people who smoke are careless and do not want to accept that they are weak and escapists. We all know the potential dangers of tobacco and the facts, still we do not picture ourselves being affected by it. We are fine smoking but do not want to think of the effects it may have on others. Same thing with gutkha too, its just addiction to the taste and whatever ingredient it has, that soothens the nerves, its more of an issue of victory of body over mind, physical needs take precedence over mental, social and emotional ones. Need to fulfill physical urges and ignore wat your mind tells. To sum up, addiction, carelesness, weakness, lack of reasoning, escapism and not wanting to shoulder responsibility.
Roohi Ahmed, Mumbai.

Its for the government to ban it completely, but alas they seem to be more concerned about the revenue it brings. Dheema zehar hai yeh, chod do, varna pachtaoge, ek din aayega ghut ghut ke mar jaoge. This has been going on for years, rallies, campaigns etc., but nothing seems to have changed, on the contrary the number of tobacco consumers seems to be increasing. They can't change anything, its the people who need to change, its the friend who encourages another to smoke, who needs to change, its the shopkeeper who sells the devilish stuff who needs to change. We need a change, stand up and smoke away tobacco.

The government banned tobacco and gutka products but not sealed the factories, If there is no production, no supply automatically no one can smoke, but govt can't do this because there is a huge loss of tax.

I think the production of tobacco itself should be stopped. Then there will not be other issues like putting ban on smoking, writing statutory warning on cigarette packets, etc. But govt is not willing to do this because then it would have to let go huge amount of taxes. As for the farmers who are growing tobacco, the plants should be used for some other purpose "atleast" for the time till all the tobacco plants are being used up. For example, studies are already in progress for utilizing tobacco as biofuel. I think there is a need for the govt to divert the utilization of tobacco instead of spending heaps of rupees behind anti-tobacco campaign.

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Well the cigarette itself has tempted me on one occasion when my friends were smoking it, but thankfully didn't get through it since a senior had wittingly scared me out of it. Till now I didn't know why I wanted to try it but just that I wanted to know how it felt. And I guess that's how it starts. We learn from what others do so I'm guessing among the youth that itself is a mode of spreading the habit. Being accepted as part of a social circle tends to pervert the mind into all sorts of stuff.

From what I've read, cigarettes are a major source of income so knowing that itself is disheartening. Man being a creature of habit, enforcing rules as such won't help as it leads to resistance and unnecessary outbreaks. In med school I was told that rehabs themselves have very high failure rates, therefore they look to project the success' so as to encourage more and more people to quit.

So banning, increasing prices, informed choices and what not are helpful in preventing the blind leading the blind but unfortunately not definitive in anyway.

Unless the user himself retrieves from this habit its unstoppable from society. Even the policy makers go for a ban of tobacco in public who is going to follow? First it has to be implemented in each and every state and the state should follow the rule strictly.

In real scenario here in TN, govt has banned it 3 times but they are not taking any action on the users in public. People will use it scarcely for a week, after knowing govt is liberal they take it to their advantage and this cycle continues. I conclude with a last statement, since INDIA is democratic nobody can stop this unless the person changes his habit or the politicians shouldn't be hungry for money from producers of tobacco products. Only then its purely possible otherwise its the fate of INDIA to loose people due to tobacco.

I feel the government is showing double standards in banning smoking in public, but hasn't banned it completely, because of which, people still smoke in public.
Parin Chheda, Mumbai.

I feel banning smoking/tobacco is not the answer, rather educating about the ill-effects and consequences would help. Let us see the causes and consequences, tobacco is consumed all over the world in its various forms, in gutka, cigarettes, cigars, snuff, hookah, bidis, tooth powder, etc., It is highly addictive and habit forming. One gets induced into the habit due to stress, work pressure, work, personality disorders, insecurities, depression, cultural or familial customs or habits, peer pressure, as a way of exploring new vistas by youngsters. They would copy film stars and celebrities, being linked to manliness and style, out of curiosity, etc. When it becomes an addiction or habit, it not only causes medical problems but also social, economic and environmental problems!

What is required is information and education about the dangers of tobacco to an individual and to society at large! In the end it all boils down to PERSONAL CHOICE but it should be a well-informed, educated individual who makes the choice.
Kul Bhushan Tandon, Mumbai

Banning is not the solution, it will cause illegal sale, we won't even know the exact use of tobacco products. Rather we should increase taxes on it to make them less accessible and use the tax money for awareness and rehabilitation of people. There should be restriction on production or further progress in this industry. All big leaders and celebrities should help in creating such awareness.
Anil, Noida

I love my tobacco in various forms: Ciggies, rolled up rizlas, good old tobac and lime and and number of various other versions. I am against anti smoking.

I think not only public smoking, but also smoking on TV and movies should be banned, license should be checked before selling cigarettes, and other tobacco products. But banning smoking products is not fair as revenues from tobacco products constitute an integral part of revenue for the country.
Nitish Kapoor, Delhi

The government should ban the companies that manufacture tobacco products like gutkha, cigarettes, khaini etc., instead of banning the use of tobacco containing product like cigarette.

But lets not forget that the lives of the people who earn their daily bread by means of tobacco (such as farmers who are into tobacco farming) would be badly affected.
I read a article in a newspaper in which it was stated that the figures indicating the number of deaths caused every year due to consumption of tobacco or tobacco containing products are blown out of proportion.

Firstly referring to the ban imposed on smoking in several states including my town Shimla, people actually smoke in public places all the time and the cops just act oblivious to it! Honestly the youth is relatively more aware, w(students) frequently object to people who smoke in public places and we reprimand right in front of their face and people do feel little mortified and learn a lesson but smoking in publib places or somewhere out on a limb, you harm yourself!

The govt did confess that they get way more money from taxes on fags then the amount of money they spend on discouraging smoking! Unfortunately the better financial status of people is being splurged in such junk.

Tobacco is harmful and all that, well its compulsory for the cig companies to put their warning on the pack that it kills people who smoke it, but then its upto the people who smoke to decide whether to continue with it or leave it. Well the govt. is taking steps, increasing taxes making rules not to sell smoke to under 18. Its all useless until and unless the smokers want to stop it themselves. I myself started smoking when I was sixteen and I still remember no one could stop me from fagging. Though I did get rid of the smoking habit two years later and it was not the prices rising or some silly movie or advert which made me do it, but just that I could not bear to think that my life was dependent on a six rupee white stick with tobacco in it and I would not like to live by something that cheap like a coward and tht was it, I stopped craving for smoke any longer. Trust me its not that difficult to stop. Today I sit with all my friends smoking and not wanting to take a puff at all. Even in the rarest of the circumstances if I chose to smoke once just socially it does not get me started again. I know it sounds almost ancient to say that only way one can stop tobacco is self realization, but its only true.

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The thing that I am going to mention right now is more dangerous than tobacco or dope or cigarettes that usually youngsters consume even though it may have the same after effects. This powerful alternative or lets say chemical is "Rubber Solution Adhesive". This is very cheaply available (Rs.7 for a 50gm pack) at any hardware or shoe material shop and is moreover sniffed by children from the slums. A really small 50gm pack can be used/sniffed till it totally dries up, which approximately takes around 8-10 days (if used just for sniffing). Hence making it the cheapest alternative available in town. This product is so dangerous that it can make a really cute little child look like a full-time dopey with dark circles around his eyes in less than a month if sniffed regularly.

The use of tobacco and gutka should definitely be banned, as there is no doubt that they are injurious to health, but it's a shame to know that there is politics been played on the name of public health. The politicians are paid hefty amounts by the tobacco companies so as not to ban it so that their trade is not affected, it is openly sold but with a warning informing to drink at your own risk. Recently there was a ban on hookah's and bars but why is there not even a mention of ban on tobacco and gutka. I've always heard that India is a colorful country, after noticing all colour on the roads and footpaths because of gutka and tobacco it has really proved that India is a colourful country.

Its a personal choice... I do not have anything against sale of tobacco or alcohol, besides the lobby is too big to be affected by individuals.

Anything that is harmful is bad. I would say this to every individual, use it but think before you commit SUICIDE.

Tobacco must be banned. I lost one of my family members due to this. In Chattisgarh tobacco was banned but within a month it people started smoking in trains, and nobody is stopping them.

Today's youth is damn sensitive or you can say they are prone to show off. They don't have any idea why they take up smoking, some of them say it makes a cool statement, or helps them if they are doing some mentally or physically exhausting work, like, "My Gf Ditched me, so i am Smoking" or "Hey i work in BPO Dude, i need to smoke." Anbumani Ramadoss made a huge step in curbing tobacco, but hardly anyone knows when it was implemented !.

According to me smoking is a matter of personal choice, it depends on an individual whether he can risk his lungs for a 'stick of pleasure', but yes, banning its use in public places is quite a right thing as one has no right to cause harm to people who chose not to smoke, by the fumes he exhales. A positive education drive against tobacco will do, for instance, I really liked the idea of our health minister suggesting film actors to avoid it on screen, I think most people take up smoking due to its hype rather than its pleasure, and that hype comes from films and TV, so its more important to tell people its harmful, rather than banning it, as I think even banned things are an easy access in India. Banning sale of tobacco to children must be strictly implemented, its just like adult cinema, you can't see it till you are old enough to judge its worth trying or not.

Actually I do smoke, but you see the point is all about ones choice. You can't stop people from smoking or boozing. The government should not exactly encourage smoking, but just prevent underage smoking and put up neat smoking zones instead. The government should do its part by putting statutory warnings and enlighten teenagers about the negatives of underage smokin, I feel most of the teens turn to smoking as a style symbol and peer pressure (I was one of them).

Actually I don't know what pleasure do smokers get in burning their lungs and lives even after knowing the hazards and ill-effects of smoking, they can't avoid it, so a ban should be imposed on tobacco and smoking for their own welfare. I am a teenager myself and I hav seen many people smoking around me, many times I have got tempted to try it, but I could never bring myself to it coz i know that once I try its got to be bad for me and maybe I get addicted. I fully support this initiative and lets hope for the best.
Rajat Emmaniac, Lucknow

Sorry can't comment on the hazards of smoking as I am a smoker too. But one thing I would like to tell the youth is tobacco can be really bad for your body. I can give my entire goodies for a year to the person who would help me quit it and never go back again.
Rashmi, Chandigarh

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Tobacco is a necessity more than it is a luxury, the quality of life is so bad this is a small piece of solace available to people across strata of society.

Just like an adult movie, the sale to tobacco or its products should be banned to children below 18 years of age.

On one hand, we take pride in calling ourselves a young nation—over 40% of our population comprises the youth. On the other, we turn a blind eye to the systematic poisoning of these same youth that hold the key to our future. It is a fact of immense shame that India is both the largest manufacturer and consumer of flavored chewing tobacco (Guthka). Available ubiquitously at a stone's throw from schools and colleges for as low as a few cents, Guthka is a “silent killer.” For years, the Indian government has unsuccessfully tried to ban the sale and consumption of this highly addictive mix, but the only beneficiaries of this movement have been manufacturers, who have used this as an opportunity to hike prices and bootleg. As Guthka manufacturers drive shamelessly around in their Maybachs and Bentleys, innocent addicts are languishing in pain in our government hospitals. It is a known fact that this billion dollar industry is being supported by both the drug mafia as well as terrorists from across borders. It is my appeal through this forum to the responsible citizens of India: It is our moral duty to join hands in fighting against this deadly virus and ensure that our youth are not destroyed. Please join hands and support this cause. We can and will make a difference. I humbly request our politicians and leaders to support us in eradicating this killer virus once and for all. Jai Hind.

Don't let your life go up in smoke!!!!

I think we need to have some rules in place, like one can only buy a complete pack of ciggies. Loose ciggs should not be sold as this will definetly decrease the amount of first time smokers. A person who wants to start generally will buy one cigarette at a time. Bad quality ciggs shudnt be sold, No PANAMA, GenNext.. or whatever...only Classic Milds, GOLDFLAKE and above... as these atleast have decent size filters. That's what i think.

I really don't have an opinion although it seems stupid to take steps to avoid smokin n public when nothing is done to stop production.

Tthe age limit should be taken seriously at the pan bidi shops. I've seen a lot of kids below the permissible age buying cigs/gutka...and the shopkeepers’ don’t give a f&*k!

First, it's not so much about Tobacco in India as it's about Tobacco and other substance (gutka, pan parags, crystals, bidis, pills, baba, sweety supari, goa) related disinformation methodolgies adopted globally! Legalizing Weed can be a great thing for the economy !

Sach main tho gutka aur tabbaco lane buri bath hai I don’t like if any one chewing guthka next to me because its make the city dirty. Everywhere there are stains jhidhar adhmi ko thook na nahi chaiya waha thook tha hai. Thats the bad part, achhi bath yay hai ki tarki dur kartha hai.

Personally I hate it, cos wen i see millions everyday spitting everywhere left right & center, it disgusts me to the core ideally I would want tobacco to be banned altogether but I know its impractical and not possible.

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