No Indian study to confirm tobacco use causes cancer : Gandhi - RNews1 Network

No Indian study to confirm tobacco use causes cancer : Gandhi

Dilip Gandhi, Head if Parliament Panel, Cancer, Tobacco, Cigarette
New Delhi : As India is set to defer its April 1 deadline for increasing size of pictoral warnings on tobacco products after pressure from various lobbies, head of a Parliamentary panel has said there was no Indian study to confirm that use of tobacco products leads to cancer.

Dilip Gandhi, head of Parliamentary panel on subordinate legislation examining the provisions of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 which had sought deferment of the move, said all studies in this regard have come from abroad and one should consider the Indian aspect too.

The Parliamentary Committee, which Gandhi a BJP MP from Maharashtra heads, had “strongly” urged the government to keep on hold its proposal to increase the size of pictorial warnings on tobacco packets from 40 per cent to 85 per cent.

Gandhi said that, “All agree on the harmful effects of tobacco. But there is no Indian survey report to prove that tobacco consumption leads to cancer. All the studies are done abroad. Cancer does not happen only because of tobacco. We have to study the Indian context, as four crore people in states like Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh are dependent on bidi-making through Tendupatta."

He said the Committee has only sought for deferment of tobacco warnings till it looks into the whole issue with Indian context and not be driven by foreign surveys.

The notification regarding amendment to the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Rules,

2008 sought increase in the size of specified health warning from the current 40 per cent to 85 per cent of the principal display area of the package of tobacco products.

On implementation of the notification, India will be the only country in the world with largest pictoral warnings on tobacco products.

Citing “adverse impact” on livelihood of people involved in the tobacco industry, the panel said a large number of representations expressing “serious” apprehensions from MPs as well as other stakeholders against the proposed notification.

Gandhi had also written to Health Minister J P Nadda in this regard seeking deferment of the implementation of the notification.

The Committee, in its report, said it “strongly urges the government that the implementation of the notification viz GSR 727-E dated October 15, 2014 may be kept in abeyance till the committee finalise the examination of the subject and arrive at appropriate conclusion and present an objective report to the Parliament”.

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