Mangalore, Nov 1, 2014 : Speaking after inaugurating a workshop, Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer Tulasi Maddineni stated that a large number of families are dependent on industries producing tobacco products for their livelihood, it is not a feasible solution to ban the tobacco products. Controlling the consumption is the only way out as the tobacco production will gradually decrease when the demand for it decreases. She was addressing a work shop for various government department employees, on effective implementation of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) and capacity building and monitoring, at DK DC offices on October 31, Friday. She pointed out how the revenue generated by selling tobacco products has not been able to meet the government’s expenditure in this regard. The government spends the revenue generated by imposing tax on tobacco products, on providing treatment to those who have lost their health due to consumption of tobacco products.
There is a shortage of cancer specialists when compared to the growing number of cancer patients. Studies by education department show that the youngsters start consuming tobacco at an early age. The vulnerable teenagers become addicted to the habit and they tend to pose an economic burden to their families.
The CEO also insisted the Mangalore City Corporation officials to ban petty shops from selling cigarettes and tobacco products on the roadside, as it happens to be an easily accessible out let for the consumers. A gazetted officer has the power to impose fine on a person smoking in a public place.
Later, addressing the participants, District Tuberculosis Officer Dr Ramakrishna Rao said that according studies, tobacco is the world’s leading single cause of death. While the percentage of population die due to tobacco consumption is 5.4 per cent, as against acute respiratory infection (3.9 pc) and AIDS (2.2 pc). In addition, tobacco is the risk factor for six of the eight major causes of death. India now lacks funds for tobacco control compared to other diseases, he said. There was a good amount of interest generated.