News Updates : 2014-2013
04 October 2014: Need to act against hookah bars flouting smoke-free norms
 
State Tobacco Control Department collects over Rs.57 lakh fine in six years As many as 126 women have been fined for lighting up in public and the State Tobacco Control Department has collected Rs. 57.92 lakh in fine in the past six years since the implementation of smoke-free rules which came into effect on October 2, 2008. This has been revealed by the data released by the Delhi Government's Health Department recently. The State Tobacco Control Department conducted 1,27,330 raids at public places and 2,55,011 raids on public service vehicles during the period and as many as 68,959 men were issued challan. Though their number was relatively low, 126 women were issued challan for smoking in public places during the same period.

Voluntary Health Association of India executive director Bhavna Mukhopadhyay said, "The implementation of the no-smoking rules in Delhi shows the government's commitment towards tobacco control. However, there is an urgent need to take stringent action against those clubs, hookah bars, and restaurants that are flouting the law. It should also be emulated by other States to achieve the goal of making the country smoke-free. In addition, the government must ensure that the money collected as fine should be spent on tobacco control and public health issues."

She said that the tobacco industry, and corporations or associations like ITC Ltd. and Indian Hotel Association have filed more than 70 court cases against the ban on smoking in public places since October 2.

Meanwhile, a ban on all chewable tobacco products in Delhi is under consideration at the level of the competent authority. Despite the creation of a challaning mechanism by the Delhi Government, there are a large number of public places which are still violating the smoke-free rules in the Capital, especially the hookah bars, said Binoy Mathew of VHAI.

"The legislation that applies to smoking in public places needs to be stringently applied to hookah bars as well. Though the rule allows some eateries to have a separate smoking area, there are still violations. The rules have a set of guidelines like the smoking zone should be a separate area and should have an automatic door to separate the smoking and non-smoking area, but this is not seen in many places. The waiters still go inside the smoking area to serve food or alcohol. It's important that people understand that second-hand smoke is just as bad, if not worse," he added.

01 October 2014: India Celebrates its 6th Year Anniversary of Smoke Free Rules
 
Six years after the implementation of smoke free rules, which came into effect on October 2, 2008; Rs 57, 92,070 lakhs have been collected by the Delhi Government as fines from people for violating the no-smoking rules.

According to the data, the state tobacco control cell from the year 2008 to till date, the Delhi Government made 1,27,330 raids at public places and 2,55,011 raids at public service vehicle. Of this, men constituted the majority of the offenders with a whooping number of 68,959 men that were challaned. Even a significant number of 126 women were also challaned for smoking in public places during the same period.

A total of Rs. 57, 92,070 lakhs have been collected by the Delhi Government as fines from people for violating the no-smoking rules.

"The implementation of the no smoking rules in Delhi shows the government's commitment towards tobacco control, however there is an urgent need to take stringent action against those clubs, hookah bars, and restaurants etc which are flouting the law. It should also be emulated by other states to achieve the goal of making the country smoke free. In addition, the Government must ensure that the money collected as fines should be spent on tobacco control and public health issues", said Ms Bhavna Mukhopadhyay, Executive Director, VHAI. read more...

11 July, 2014: Tax hiked on tobacco products for human and fiscal health
 
Accepting the recommendations made by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), finance Minister Arun Jaitley, on Thursday, increased the excise duty on cigarettes, pan masala and other tobacco products.

Jaitley proposed to increase the specific excise duty on cigarettes in the range of 11 to 72 per cent. Similar increases were proposed on cigars, cheroots and cigarillos. The excise duty will be increased from 12 per cent to 16 per cent on pan masala, from 50 per cent to 55 per cent on unmanufactured tobacco and from 60 per cent to 70 per cent on gutkha and chewing tobacco. The finance minister, in his budget speech, said, "These are healthy measures and I hope everyone would welcome them from the point of view of human and fiscal health." He also proposed to levy an additional duty of excise at 5 per cent on aerated drinks containing added sugar.

In June, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan had written a letter to finance minister Arun Jaitley, suggesting an increase in tax on the retail price of cigarettes from 45 per cent to 60 per cent, as higher tax rate would fetch the government an additional Rs 3,800 crore of revenue.

Welcoming the move, Bhavna Mukhopadhyay, executive director of non-profit Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI) said, "It is encouraging to see that the finance minister has come forward to show tremendous commitment towards safeguarding the health of people of India" The NGO professional added, "Raising taxes on tobacco products is the single most effective way to reduce tobacco use and save lives. In India, taxes on tobacco are lower as compared to those countries which have effective tobacco control policies. This makes tobacco products easily affordable in India."

A recent study that was released by Public Health Foundation of India, in collaboration with health ministry and the World Health Organization (WHO), had estimated direct and indirect costs from all diseases caused due to tobacco use, including respiratory diseases, tuberculosis, cardiovascular diseases and cancers. The study estimated that the total economic costs that can be attributed to such diseases in India, in the year 2011, amounted to a staggering Rs 104,500 crores-12 per cent more than the combined expenditure of state and Centre on health care in the same year.

Why spare bidis?

The experts, however, were disappointed that bidis were exempted from additional tax.

"I see no logic in giving tax subsidy to bidi in this budget. With current tax pattern on the product, consumer and the nation are losers as only some companies and industry owners are making profits. Most of these violate every law related to minimum wages, child labour or healthy workplace and wield political clout to flourish," said Pankaj Chaturvedi of Tata Memorial Hospital. The expert added that since excise and tax violation remained rampant in the unorganised industry, it was shocking that there was no tax hike on bidis."
06 July, 2014: Levy at least 50% VAT on tobacco products, Centre tells States
 
On 06th July, 2014, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has asked States to develop a tax policy to make tobacco products less affordable over time.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan wrote to Chief Ministers of all States (except Rajasthan) and Lt. Governors and Administrators of Union Territories to consider levying a VAT of at least 50 per cent on all tobacco products, including bidis. In addition, he has asked them to develop a tax policy to make tobacco products less affordable over time, according to an official statement on Saturday. These steps will go a long way in discouraging use of tobacco, help in improving the health of citizens and reduce avoidable public health costs, he said.

During the last financial year, over 10 States increased the State Tax/VAT on all tobacco products, including bidis. The most notable, he said, was Rajasthan, which levied a VAT of 65 per cent on all tobacco products, followed by Jammu & Kashmir, 40 per cent.

In his letter, he said Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) were the leading cause of death, globally as well as in India. These account for 5.2 million deaths in India (as per 2008 World Health Organisation estimates). In order to study the economic losses and health costs associated with tobacco use in India, the Health Ministry commissioned a report, "Economic Burden of Tobacco Related Diseases in India (2014)," whose findings showed that the total economic costs attributable to tobacco use from all diseases in India in 2011 for persons aged 35-69 amounted to Rs. 1,04,500 crore.

This was approximately 1.16 per cent of the GDP and was 12 per cent more than the combined State and Central government expenditure on health in 2011-12. He told the Chief Ministers that India was the second largest consumer and third largest producer of tobacco products. As per the estimates of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey, India (2010), 35 per cent of the adult population in the age group of l5 and above consumed tobacco in some form or other and the estimated number of tobacco users in India was 27.5 crore.
21 June, 2014: Health Minister Harsh Vardhan for raising tax on cigarettes
 
On 21st June, 2014, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan has sought an increase in tax on cigarettes of all lengths by Rs 2 to Rs 3.5 per stick as well as removal of tax exemption granted to bidi makers, measures that can deter people from smoking by making a puff dearer.

In a letter sent on Thursday, Vardhan urged finance minister Arun Jaitley to raise tax on retail price of cigarettes from 45per cent to over 60per cent in the upcoming budget. This, he said, would add Rs 3,800 crore to the government's revenue and save at least four million lives. Although the previous government had raised tax on cigarettes by about 19per cent in February 2013, the increase was too little to lower consumption, Vardhan said.

The revision did not have the desired impact at the time since higher taxes were targeted at longer cigarettes and the industry sought to evade the revised taxes by switching to cigarettes of shorter length.

"Raising the proportion of specific tax on cigarettes as a percentage of their retail price from about 45per cent to over 60per cent of the retail price of cigarettes would conservatively lead to about three million smokers quitting and nearly three million children not starting," Vardhan said, adding that the higher tax burden would be borne mostly by upper income groups.

Even with this substantial hike, cigarettes and bidis would remain a very profitable business, Vardhan said. Besides, this would not mean net loss of jobs in bidi industry, the minister said. Admitting that a step like this may modestly swell cigarette smuggling, the minister claimed that reduced smoking and rise in tax revenue would more than compensate for that. "Experience from other countries suggests that the cigarette industry itself promotes smuggling to gain market share and to bolster their argument against higher taxes," the minister said.

The move, if implemented, could hit companies such as ITC, Godfrey Phillips India (GPI) and VST Industries, which together command over 90per cent market share in the country. While public health groups cheered the move, tobacco industry claimed it was already reeling under a high tax burden.Legal cigarettes constitute only 12per cent of tobacco consumed but account for 85 per cent of the excise revenue from tobacco.

"Tax rates on cigarettes are 47 times higher than other tobacco products in the country. India has the highest tax rates on cigarettes in the world in relation to per capita income. Unlike other countries where more than 90per cent tobacco consumption is in cigarette form, bulk of tobacco in India is consumed in the form of tax inefficient, cheaper products like chewing tobacco (55 per cent) and bidis (23 per cent)," said SM Ahmad, director at Tobacco Institute of India. Ahmad blamed the shift to illegal cigarettes largely on two steep back-to-back increases in excise duty in the last two budgets coupled with high rates of state VAT and estimated that high and discriminatory tax regime on cigarettes, international smuggled and domestic tax evaded cigarettes cause a revenue loss of over than Rs. 6,000 crores to the national exchequer.

Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI)'s Binoy Mathew said, "This is a first in a series of steps that can lower consumption of tobacco and shows the commitment of the minister towards the cause."
30 May 2014: Hon'ble Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan Flagged Off World No Tobacco Day Youth Rally Organised by VHAI on 30th May 2014
 
On 30th May, 2014, Hon'ble Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Government of India Dr. Harsh Vardhan flagged off a rally of 200 school children from Nirman Bhawan to India Gate.

The rally was organized by Voluntary Health Association of India, Health Fitness Trust and Manas Foundation with support from Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and World Health Organization. The rally was attended by all senior officials in the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, WHO, civil society organizations, school students from across Delhi, NCC cadets and college students.

Dr Harsh Vardhan said in his message that tobacco consumption is a menace and a strong social movement is needed to address and tackle its growing use in India. This needs a redefining of the strategy, he stated, which will need to see engagement of all sections of people. We need to convince tobacco users of the grave ill effects of its consumption. He stated that children can become the strongest messengers of positive health including giving up tobacco use. It is children, he stated, who can convince, motivate and educate the elders to give up the use of tobacco and tobacco products.

The Hon'ble Minister said that for him every day is an anti-tobacco day, where he tries to convince people about the effect its use has on their health. He assured that he and his ministry will try their best to raise taxes on tobacco products and to enforce the tobacco control law COTPA Act.

A plaque was presented to Dr. Harsh Vardhan by VHAI for his exemplary contribution to public health and to solicit his continued leadership and support to create a "Tobacco Free India".
 
29 May 2014: Tobacco abuse violations to be part of monthly crime review
 
Tobacco abuse violations will be part of the monthly crime review across the country as directed by the Home Secretary Anil Goswami in his letter (dated May 5) to all the Director General of Police of State Governments/Union Territories.

Mr. Goswami has directed incorporation of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA) violation in the review for strengthening the public health measure at the district and sub-district level.

The move has been initiated in view of the health hazards that are imminent with the use of tobacco and is part of a co-ordinated effort to be made to discourage its consumption through various means.

Further, the Home Ministry has instructed that State/district level, information/reports should be generated and sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in the prescribed format, thrice a year for monitoring at national level.

Welcoming the move, Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI) executive director Bhavna Mukhopadhyay said: "By issuing this letter, the Home Ministry has demonstrated tremendous commitment towards safe guarding the health of people of India and protecting the masses, especially the youth from the growing menace of tobacco addiction. It is now important for every State to effectively implement various provisions of the COTPA and rules, in letter and spirit.''

Explaining what this latest move means, Ms. Mukhopadhyay noted that the State police chief has been asked to incorporate the COTPA violations as one of the agenda items in the monthly crime review meetings at the district level.

The Governments in Assam, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Karnataka and Rajasthan have already asked the State police to incorporate COTPA violations. The COTPA, applicable across the country, was enacted in 2003 mainly to discourage the consumption of cigarettes and other tobacco products by imposing progressive restrictions and to protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke. Also, as per Section 12 of COTPA, any police officer, not below the rank of the sub-inspector, can take action against these violations.
 
9 April 2014: EC bans smoking inside polling stations
 
The Election Commission today issued instructions to all its Returning Officers in Delhi to ensure no smoking inside polling stations.

The instructions were issued by the office of Delhi Chief Electoral Officer, making it clear that smoking inside polling stations is prohibited.

"See that neither you nor your polling officers nor anybody else in the polling station including the polling agents smoke inside the polling station," the order said. 1.27 crore voters are eligible to cast their ballots in tomorrow's polling in 11,763 booths for the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi.

Similar instructions have also been issued by Chief Electoral officers in Assam, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, declaring all polling stations as no-smoking zones. Section (4) of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce Production, Supply and Distribution) Act COTPA, 2003 prohibits smoking in all public places.

"We have met all the key officials in the officer of CEO, Delhi, to ensure that polling stations in Delhi be made smoke-free and requested that necessary instruction/direction be issued to all officials concerned to put complete ban on smoking inside all polling booths," Executive Director of Voluntary Health Association of India, Bhavna Mukhopadhyay said.

VHAI made the request keeping in view the dangers of passive smoking on women voters. The Election Commission earlier issued instructions in its handbook to all Presiding Officers to ensure complete ban on smoking inside all polling booths throughout the country.

As per Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) India 2009-10, released by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), 24.3 per cent population of Delhi is using tobacco product. Delhi has 9.9 per cent cigarette smokers, 8.7 per cent bidi smokers and 10.5 per cent smokeless tobacco users.
 
04 April 2014: School authorities not implementing tobacco Act: NGO
 
The J&K Voluntary Health Association, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) working for eradication of smoking and use of drugs in J&K, has alleged that the school authorities in Jammu are not implementing the Prohibition of Tobacco Act-2003.

The association has praised the education authorities in the Kashmir region for implementing the Act in proper way and submitting details about the steps taken to curtail the sale of tobacco products outside the educational institutions.

As per the Section-6 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA), there is a ban on the sale of tobacco to minors and prohibition on sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions.

As per the Section-6 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA), there is a ban on the sale of tobacco to minors and prohibition on sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions. The NGO says that the government with technical support from the J&K Voluntary Health Association have already conducted sensitisation workshops for the Chief Education Officers (CEOs) of both the Jammu and Kashmir regions. The Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS), carried out by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare among students in India, reveals that 14.6 per cent of 13-15-year-old students are using tobacco in India. Of these, 8.1 per cent of students smoke tobacco. As many as 11 per cent of all male students surveyed were found to be smoking or using tobacco products, while 6 per cent of female students were found to be using tobacco products and 3.7 per cent smoking tobacco. Tribune News Service
 
15 March 2014: District Level Media Workshops on COTPA Enforcement
 
VHAI in collaboration with J&K Voluntary Health Association organized 5 district level media sensitization workshops in Kashmir region in the districts - Anantnag, Ganderbal, Srinagar, Baramulla and Bandipora. The main objective of these workshops was to sensitize the journalists at the district level on COTPA Act and the enforcement of the law by the district administration in each of the districts, so that the journalists get sensitized and start writing stories on the issues.

The programme was attended by Divisional Commissioners, Police Officials, Chief Medical Officer, Chief Planning Officer, Chief Education Officer, Principals of Higher Secondary Schools, Headmasters, representatives of local print and electronic media.

The District Administration in the all the five districts gave their commitment that all public places in the district shall be made Tobacco free soon. They ensured that all required steps will be taken by the District Administration so that public places are made tobacco free. In this regard VHAI and J&K Voluntary Health Association should be kept in touch for seeking technical support to achieve the goal.

A total of 58 stories were generated out of these 5 district level media sensitization workshops.

Kindly click on the link to access the stories.
Anantnag
http://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/2014/Mar/9/public-places-in-islamabad-to-be-tobacco-free-dc-32.asp
http://www.scoopnews.in/det.aspx?q=36286
http://groundreport.com/public-places-in-anantnag-to-be-tobacco-free-dc/

Ganderbal
http://www.risingkashmir.com/ganderbal-to-have-smoke-free-public-placesdc/
http://www.scoopnews.in/det.aspx?q=36345

Srinagar
http://kashmirhorizon.com/news/media-sensitization-workshop-on-tobacco-control-laws-measures-15060.aspx
http://www.risingkashmir.com/sensitization-workshop-on-tobacco-control-laws-measures-held/

Baramullah
http://cnskashmir.com/seminar-on-effects-of-tobacco-smoking-organised/
http://www.scoopnews.in/det.aspx?q=36708

Bandipora
http://www.risingkashmir.com/anti-tobacco-workshop-held-at-bandipora/
http://www.dailykashmirimages.com/news-anti-tobacco-workshop-held-at-bandipora-57421.aspx
http://www.northerntimes.in/newsdet.aspx?q=23108
 
03 December 2013: Jammu District Declared Smoke Free
 
Under Section 4 of the Cigarette & Other Tobacco Products Act 2003, District Administration of Jammu under the chairmanship of ADC Jammu Mr. Kalyan Singh Parihar- KAS has declared all public places as smoke free. This was done on the basis of a survey conducted by Drug & Food Control Department, Jammu. Speaking on the occasion, ADC Jammu stressed on the strict implementation of the Act and directed all officers of the district to make sure that smoke free rules are institutionalized and sustained in future to reduce the second hand smoke exposure. He also issued strict directions to all officials particularly SSP Jammu, CEO Jammu and CMO jammu to establish a reporting system of violation and compliance of the law. Enforcement of the law has been given top priority for which all concerned officials will have to issue challans for any such violation under the Act. In his presence, challan books were given to SSP Jammu by Drug & Food Control Organization for effective enforcement of the Act.

Kindly click on the link to access the stories.
Jammu District Declared Smoke Free
 
14 October 2013: After hookah bars, Haryana FDA targets e-cigarettes
 
After the crackdown on hookah bars in the state, Haryana's food and drug administration has now targeted e-cigarettes, which allegedly contain high-level pure nicotine. In March this year, FDA officials had seized 50 boxes of e-cigarettes from a vendor outside a popular hotel in Sector 10, Panchkula. Each packet was worth Rs 400 and one of the packets was sent to the food laboratory for testing. Last week, the FDA received the lab report, which confirmed presence of high quality pure nicotine in the consignment.

Please visit link below to access the story:
http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-10-14/chandigarh/43025333_1_hookah-bars-e-cigarettes-fda-commissioner-rakesh-gupta
 
11 October 2013: Bihar to exempt chewing tobacco from tax
 
Bihar has decided to exempt chewing tobacco or 'khaini' from tax to help thousands of farmers who grow tobacco in the state, officials said here Friday. "Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has announced exemption of khaini from tax in view of the demand made by the farmers, who met him on Thursday," said an official in the CM's office.

Please visit link below to access the story:
http://newindianexpress.com/nation/Bihar-to-exempt-chewing-tobacco-from-tax/2013/10/11/article1831221.ece
 
10 October 2013: 17000 challaned for violating smoking ban
 
Over 17,000 people have been issued tickets (challaned) by the Punjab government this year for violating ban on smoking in public places, a senior health officer said in Chandigarh on Wednesday.

Please visit link below to access the story:
http://newindianexpress.com/nation/17000-booked-in-Punjab-for-smoking-in-public/2013/10/09/article1827559.ece
 
09 October 2013: Gutka seized in Manipur
 
AMSU, CADA, Chaithabi Leirak Development Committee cum Library, and Medical Directorate staff have jointly seized a huge quantity of 'Khaini' a smokeless tobacco product banned by Commissioner of Food Safety, Health Department Secretariat, Govt of Manipur, while it was being shipped in to Imphal today.

Please visit link below to access the story:
http://e-pao.net/GP.asp?src=3..101013.oct13
 
12 September 2013: Central labs to test tobacco products not operational
 
More than 10 years after India enacted its anti-tobacco legislation, the Centre is yet to ready its network of five tobacco-testing laboratories that would have enabled it to monitor tobacco companies, like seeing whether they are maintaining the required level of tar and nicotine in cigarettes.

Please visit link below to access the story:
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/356549/central-labs-test-tobacco-products.html
 
24 August 2013: Tobacco investment in political parties
 
Currently, a hot debate is raging among political parties splitting hairs over the Central Information Commission's order on including them under the ambit of the Right to Information Act.

It has also been highlighted that how tobacco companies invested crores of rupees in various political parties. VHAI media team shared all relevant details and the story has appeared in the Front Page of Gaon Connection, India's first Rural Newspaper covering grassroot-level news from villages across the country. The newspaper reaches to the states of Delhi, Bihar, U.P, Mumbai & Odisha. The viewership of this newspaper is around 20 lakh that includes both print and online editions.

Please visit link below to access the story:
http://www.gaonconnection.com/Newspaper/Upload/CoverPageDetail.html
 
31 May 2013: World No Tobacco Day
 
Kullu, Lahaul-Spiti and Kangra in Himachal Pradesh declared smoke free read more...
Smoke free Reasi district, J & K read more...

Media coverage on World No Tobacco Day:
The Times of India:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health/First-puff-of-smoke-Age-of-onset-falling/articleshow/20349679.cms
Business Standard:
http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/first-puff-of-smoke-age-of-onset-falling-may-31-is-world-no-tobacco-day-113053000314_1.html
The Hindu:
http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-newdelhi/children-still-being-exposed-to-tobacco-advertisements-who/article4764711.ece
The Asian Age:
http://www.asianage.com/arts/who-seeks-further-curb-tobacco-ads-266
The Pioneer:
http://www.dailypioneer.com/health-and-fitness/tobacco-epidemic-2500-die-in-india-daily.html
 
Jammu,12 March 2013: Gutka worth Rs 21 lakh seized
 
The enforcement staff has seized 159 cartons of Dabang Gutka worth Rs. 21 lakh from two trucks bearing registration No. PB-10 CD-1085 and HR-55 K-7775 at Lakhanpur Check Post. This was done following imposition of ban on manufacture, storage, sale, transportation, display or distribution of Gutkha by whatever name and Pan Masala/Zarda containing tobacco or nicotine as ingredients by whatsoever name by the Commissioner, Food Safety, M.K Dwivedi. The exercise has conducted with the active support of sales tax officials posted at Lakhanpur. Controller Drug & Food, Satish Gupta, has appealed the public to refrain from indulging in violation of prohibition order on the subject. He further impressed upon that violators, on this account, can face imprisonment for six months and a fine of minimum Rs. 1.00 lakh.

A story was done by the News Agencies.
http://kashmirreader.com/03132013-ND-gutka-worth-rs-21-lakh-seized-12667.aspx
http://www.thenorthlines.com/newsdet.aspx?q=63620
http://jammu.greaterkashmir.com/news/2013/Mar/13/d-fco-seizes-gutka-worth-rs-21-lakh-24.asp
 
London,7 March 2013: Fight tobacco marketing, boost vaccinations to curb cancer, says report
 
Fighting the tobacco industry's tactics in the world's poorest countries and ensuring the best vaccines get to those most in need are key to cutting the number of cancer deaths worldwide, according to a report by specialists in the disease. Experts reporting from a meeting of cancer organisations across the world said smoking and other forms of tobacco use are the main drivers of a growing global burden of cancer.

A story was done by the News Agencies.
http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/wire-news/fight-tobacco-marketing-boost-vaccinations-to-curb-cancer-says-report_834982.html
http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/03/06/us-cancer-global-idINBRE9251AY20130306
 
New Delhi,2 March 2013: Public health advocates welcomes 18% excise increase on cigarettes
 
Steadfast in its commitment to protect its citizens from the growing menace of tobacco products, the Ministry of Finance had announced about 18 per cent increase of excise on Cigarettes in the General Budget for 2013-14.

read more
 
New Delhi,24 February 2013: Make tobacco control part of social policing: Health Ministry
 
Pitching for an anti-tobacco policy, Shri Keshav Desiraju, Secretary, Health has written to the Home Secretary, Govt. of India in February 2013 to direct the State Police Department to incorporate Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA) violations in the monthly crime review for strengthening the public health measure at the district and sub-district level

Kindly click on the link to access the stories.
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/make-tobacco-control-part-of-social-policing-health-ministry/articleshow/18659978.cms
http://www.thestatesman.net/index.php
 
New Delhi/Patna,15 February 2013: In a leg-up for GST, states commit to a model law
 
Indian states on Thursday committed to work on a model tax legislation that will be passed by state assemblies, confirming the eventual roll-out of the long-awaited goods and services tax (GST) regime. - Though the state government has increased the tax on cigarette and other tobacco products and brought even bidi under the tax net, those on the forefront of the campaign against using those products feel that paying lip service to the issue won't help. They, in fact, were demanding at least 65% increase in tax on tobacco products which, according to WHO reports, is the minimum requirement to discourage tobacco consumption.

Kindly click on the link to access the stories.
http://www.livemint.com/Politics/7eTFJ9aaOjpfcoBe3Z9MSP/In-a-legup-for-GST-states-commit-to-a-model-law.html
http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-02-22/patna/37240870_1_tobacco-products-global-adult-tobacco-survey-tobacco-consumption
 
4 Feb 2013: India has 86% of global oral cancer cases
 
This year, World Cancer Day focuses on dispelling damaging myths and misconceptions about cancer.VHAI media team worked on a story related to the health hazards of chewing tobacco in India with the national media.

A story was done by the PTI News Agency.
read more
 
3 Jan 2013: Supreme Court issues new order staying Bombay HC order on Point of Sale advertising
 
The Supreme Court in a major decision on 3rd Jan, 2013 has paved the way for the implementation of Point of Sale rules of tobacco products, which were stuck for the last seven years. The beginning of the year has started off very positively for tobacco control advocates. A significant step has been taken towards restricting tobacco companies from advertising blatantly at Point of Sale across the whole of India.
read more
 
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