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Thiruvananthapuram walks the talk, to become tobacco free city

Thiruvananthapuram walks the talk, to become tobacco free city

Laxmi Ajai Prasanna, TNN Jun 30, 2013, 04.50AM IST

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The capital city is all set to declare itself ‘Tobacco free’ soon. A statewide drive was launched a month ago warning shops and vendors who fail to remove illegal tobacco advertisements by June 15 of punitive action.

“After removing illicit tobacco advertisements, the shops and vendors are supposed to exhibit health warnings such as ‘Tobacco Causes Cancer, ‘Tobacco Kills’ written prominently (20 x 15 cm measurement) in black letters on white background on the top edge of the board,” assistant director of Health Services Dr Pradeep Kumar told TOI.

It is mandatory as per Section 5 of Cotpa (Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Production, Supply and Distribution Act) that prohibits display of brand pack shots and brand name of the tobacco products in the point-of-sale boards and allows only listing the type of tobacco products, he said.

The statewide drive was launched on World No Tobacco Day on May 31 . “Health officials in all districts have begun the mission and among them Thiruvananthapuram district has taken the lead,” Dr Pradeep said.

In the district, over 160 shops have been issued legal notices as they had failed to comply with the mandate of the law to exhibit health warnings against tobacco and instead displayed illicit advertisements promoting tobacco sales, district health officials said.

In the first 17 days of the drive in the city, as many as 657 boards were removed from various shops and vendors, the officials said. In total more than 800 advertisements from shops across the city have been removed and they have been issued warnings not to display advertisements promoting tobacco sales, the health officials said.

Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies head Dr K R Thankappan has infomed that tobacco use causes about 40,000 deaths every year in the state.

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