Choose Life, Not Tobacco         |         Smoking is a habit that drains your money and kills your slowly, one puff after another….         |         Smoking helps you to relax… in Death-bed         |         Smoking is injurious not only to you, but for the ones around you also… Quit before it’s late         |         Smoking Leaves an Unseen Scar, it fill your Insides with Toxins and Tar         |         Only a fool would put his lips, at the other end of a burning fie.         |         Irony is, Tobacco companies kill their Best Customers.         |         You’re a Fool, if you think smoking is cool.         |         Tar the Roads, not your lungs.         |         Be brighter, put down the lighter.         |         Put the smoke out, before it put you Out.         |         Who’s going to retire on your hard-earned dollars… You or some tobacco company executive?         |         A Friend in Deed won’t make you smoke that weed.         |         Smokers die young, be smart, don’t start.         |         Every time you light up A cigarette, you are saying that your life isn’t worth Living….        |         Don’t let being on a ventilator ultimate become, the reason you eventually quit smoking. Save lungs while you can.         |         If you can’t stop smoking…. Cancer will.         |         Cigarettes are like Squirrels. They are perfectly harmless until you put one in your mouth and light it on fire.

Category Archives: Year 2013

Launch of Tobacco Free North East Campaign

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Thousands of people, including ministers, school children, government officials, NGOs, cancer patients and doctors, on Saturday pledged not to consume tobacco and other tobacco related products and make northeast a tobacco-free region.

At a campaign, which was launched in the state on Saturday to make northeast a tobacco-free place, the people vowed to bring down the increasing rate of cancer in the region. The campaign for a tobacco-free northeast is the initiative of the Union ministry of health and family welfare and the department of health and family welfare, Assam. According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) conducted by the Union Ministry of health and family welfare, northeast has the highest incidence of tobacco consumption in India with 44.1%, higher than the national average of 35%. Smokeless tobacco consuming states of the region are Mizoram (55%), Nagaland (57%), Tripura (55%), Meghalaya (55%), Manipur (54%) and Assam (39%).

Police officers sensitized for COTPA in Bangalore

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VoTV Patron Dr. Vishal Rao  and his team conducted  a one-hour sensitization program on COTPA which included VoTV.  The event was attended by approximately 50 police officers of Bangalore. It included SP, Additional SP and all SHOs from Bangalore District. Media was also present in this event.

The SP stressed on need for strict implementation of COTPA.

Sensitization programme for Education Department Officials in Kerala

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Dr. Paul Sebastian (Voice of tobacco Victims patron), during an event by Tobacco Free Kerala held on February 7, 2013 at AL SAJ Convention Centre, Kazhakuttam, Trivandrum. During the event, Dr. Paul Sebastian talked about the health hazards caused by the use of tobacco products with videos of two tobacco victims – one an elderly man and another a young man – both of whom had lost out on precious productive years and had to face the trauma of cancers. Both the patients described their hardships and implored all to not use these products.

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The sensitization programme was done during a capacity-building exercise for Education Department Officials conducted by the National University of Educational Planning and Administration. More than 250 education officials participated in the programme.

VoTV sensitization programme

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VoTV sensitization programme held in the police training program on February 16, 2013 at Gulbarga Police training College. The program was attended with an approximate of 425 participants. IGP Gulbarga Range Sri Mohd. Wazir Ahmed, District surgeon Dr. Nalini Namoshi and Mr. Sanualla Principal, Police training college were the chief guests for this function.

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VoTV activity in Goa

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VoTV Patron, Dr. Shekhar Salkar requested the police department to direct the PI and PSI from all the police station to implement COTPA Act 2008 and not Goa Smoking and Spitting Act in a meeting with Shri. Manohar Parrikar, President of NOTE-India and Chief Minister of Goa on 22nd December 2012 at State Guest House, Altinho, Panaji.

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Dr. Salkar addressed Goa Headmasters Association. About 150 Headmasters from different schools of South Goa were sensitized on the ill effects of Tobacco.

In a workshop on “Tobacco Free” Educational Institutions at the Conference Hall of the Dept of Education , Porvorim, for Principals of Higher Secondary, Colleges & High Schools, held on Dec 13th 2012, Dr. Salkar presented on various aspects of ill effects of tobacco, about students & tobacco, & about the Section 6 (a) & 6 (b) of the COTPA Act – which is the relevant Section of law for the educational institutions and which deals with prohibition of sale of tobacco products to & by minors, prohibition of sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of all educational institutions & what needs to be done to make the educational institutions tobacco free etc. Towards the end of the workshop, the Principals agreed that it was possible to work towards making their educational institutions tobacco free, and the Principals pledged to do so within the coming 6 months.

Gutka banned in Nagaland

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As a result of meeting of Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi & Ministry of Health & Family Welfare with the Chief Secretary, Gutka has been banned in Nagaland. Big thanks to Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi, MoH, and Dr Swasticharan for all their efforts to get Gutka banned in Nagaland.

Also, Governor of Nagaland has pledged his support for tobacco control in Nagaland. Thanks to our VoTV Patron, Dr. VP Singh from Bihar for this. This shall help in implementation of tobacco control agenda in Nagaland.

 

Manipur

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Launch of Voice of Tobacco Victims State Chapter

VoTV’s success  has attained political will in a lot of states of India. Dr. Ahmad Abdul, a renowned surgeon, has agreed to be the President for VoTV state chapter of Bihar. Other doctors in the team aka VoTV patrons are – Dr. BK Sinha, Dr Pritanjali Singh, Dr. Ravi Byahut, Dr. Punam Dixit, Dr. Sanjay Varma, Dr Arvind Sinha, Dr VP Singh, Dr RN Tagore, Dr Kumar Arunesh (IDA). VoTV Bihar chapter has been launched in Bihar to strengthen and propel the tobacco free initiative to save millions of people and children of Bihar from tobacco epidemic.

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Press conference for launch of VoTV state chapter was launched by the Health Minister Sh. Ashwini K. Choubey on January 19, 2013 (Saturday) at 8:15 pm.

The press conference was attended by about 25 media personnel from Hindustan Hindi, Hindustan Times, Times of India, Dainik Jagran, Prabhat Khabar, Aaj Hindi Daily, Sanmarg, Faarooqui Tanzeem, Darsh TV, Bihar News, Pindar, Aradhna news, PTN and India news.

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Letter to Sh. Pranab Mukherjee by an activist Krishna Raj Rao in response to the President presenting CII-ITC awards

14th January, 2012

Dear Shri Pranab-babu, Rashtrapati-ji,

Your speech today at the presentation of CII-ITC Sustainability Awards 2012 at New Delhi’s Vigyan Bhavan has made crores of people, including tobacco control activists, hang their heads in shame. Makar Sankranti, the festival of wind, has acquired a strange irony for the millions who have lost their lungs, windpipes and voiceboxes. Sir, every cigarette packet says “Smoking Kills”. But you said today that ITC (formerly Indian Tobacco Company), which sells about 80 percent of the cigarettes in India, was a champion of sustainable development?!

About 50 lakh children and women who are struggling to cope after losing their breadwinner in the last five years, plus about 3 lakh persons who are breathing from a hole in their throat, would be shaking his heads in disbelief if they saw this photograph of ITC Chairman Y C Deveshwar with you at the awards ceremony.

You publicly lauded ITC for “building social and environmental capital. You pointed out their “dedicated social investment programme… aimed at empowering stakeholder communities to conserve and manage their social and environmental capital”, and mentioned their other “society-based initiatives like e-Choupal, Social and Farm Forestry programme” for “significant generation of livelihood and natural capital.”

Today, you have done what Shah Rukh Khan might hesitate to do. You, Rashtrapati-ji, have reduced yourself to a brand ambassador of a corporate killer whose main revenue comes from poisoning and crippling its most loyal consumers, while pulling wool over the nation’s eyes.

CII (Confederation of Indian Industry), arguably India’s most forward-looking chamber of commerce, lent its name and goodwill to a killer corporate, through the CII ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development. ITC is a disguised multinational company selling cigarettes to 80% of India’s smokers. A massive chunk of ITC’s equity is held by British American Tobacco (BAT) Plc, the world’s second-largest tobacco company after Philip Morris. BAT currently is the largest multinational corporation by value of equity held in Indian businesses.

ITC has woven a myth that it is no longer a cigarette company, but a diversified company in FMCG and other sectors. However, ITC’s latest Annual Report reveals that the bulk of its revenues flow from cigarettes. See this chart.

In 2011-12, ITC’s FMCG businesses such as biscuits, snack foods, garments, notebooks and personal care products earned losses of Rs 215 croreswhile sale of cigarettes earned Rs 7,191 crore of pre-tax profits. A further Rs 936 crore were earned from paperboard, packaging and specialty papers used in cigarettes. This is most part of ITC’s total profits were Rs 9,168 crore.

Surely, Pranab-babu, as a former Union finance minister, you of all people are aware of all this?

About 5.7% of India’s population, i.e. 6.9 crore persons, smoke cigarettes. ITC makes and sells about 80% of all cigarettes in India. Research conducted over a 40-year period have revealed that 41-50% of smokers die between the ages of 35 and 69 years, as against about 20% of non-smokers. For cigarette smokers, the age by which half have died is 8-10 years less than for non-smokers. About 80-90% of all lung cancer cases are cigarette smokers. Must we remind you that the annual economic toll of all the medical expenditures and premature deaths would probably rival India’s railway budget? Is this what you term as “sustainable development”?

Sir, we ask you: By what yardstick is ITC Limited a champion of sustainability? And with what moral authority did Mr Y C Deveshwar stand at your side to be photographed while giving away an award for sustainability to Steel Authority of India (SAIL)?

If these are the standards adopted by Rashtrapati Bhavan in 2013, then perhaps we can look forward to your sharing the stage with Afzal Guru at next year’s awards ceremony?

Yours sincerely,
Krishnaraj Rao,
Mumbai

Copies endorsed to:

  1. Mr Adi Godrej, President , CII & Chairman, Godrej Group
  2. Mr S Gopalakrishnan, President Designate, CII & Co-Founder and Executive Co-Chairman, Infosys Technologies Limited
  3. Mr Ajay S Shriram, Vice President, CII & Chairman & Senior Managing Director of DCM Shriram Consolidated Limited (DSCL)
  4. Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII
  5. Mr Y C Deveshwar, Chairman, ITC Ltd.

Cancer centres urge PM to ban gutka across India

After succeeding in banning the sale of gutka and other smokeless tobacco products in 16 states and three union territories in the country, the directors of 12 regional cancer centres in India, along with the Indian Dental Association and Tata Memorial Hospital, have written letters to the prime minister and the Union health minister to implement the ban in the remaining states as well. In the letters drafted and sent on November 19, the oncologists have raised serious concerns over the growing gutka/paan masala menace and urged the Government of India to take immediate action to completely ban the manufacture and sale of all smokeless tobacco products throughout the country.

“Tobacco is a crime against humanity and cancer patients are the victims of the tobacco industry. Indian youth are dying of mouth cancer in epidemic proportions. Gutka is one of the most deadly avatars of tobacco that is unique to India,” said Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, head and neck surgeon, Tata Memorial Hospital.

He added that a nationwide gutka ban will prevent millions of youth from dying prematurely and save crores of rupees spent on health care. Last year,17 regional cancer centre directors had written to prime minister Manmohan Singh, urging him to implement the gutka ban across India. So far, 16 states and three union territories have implemented the ban, thanks to an exemplary campaign by Voice of Tobacco Victims with support from Tata Memorial Hospital, regional cancer centres and civil society organizations across India.

An overall ban will remove the possibility of the products being smuggled from one state to another. According to Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) India, there are an estimated 275 million tobacco users in India, of whom 25.9% are smokeless tobacco users, while 5.7% smoke cigarettes and 9.2% smoke beedis.

Chief Ministers of 18 states and 3 Union Territories show commitment towards saving lives by announced ban on Gutka and pan masala (containing tobacco/nicotine). So far 18 states (Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Bihar, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Gujarat, Punjab, Uttarkhand, Mizoram, Delhi, Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh) and 3 union territories (Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli) have announced the ban on sale, manufacture and distribution of gutka, pan masala containing tobacco/nicotine, based on the FSSAI regulation issued on 1st August 2011. According to the rule 2.3.4 of the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations, 2011, “product not to contain any substance which may be injurious to health: Tobacco and nicotine shall not be used as ingredients in any food products”.

Thanks to the efforts of VoTV Patrons – Dr. Lalit Shrivastava, Dr. Paul Sebastian, Dr. Vijay Pratap Singh, Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi, Dr. Virendra Singh, Dr. Karwasra, Dr. Ujwala Tamer, Dr. Prahlad Duggal, Dr. Sunil Saini, Dr. L Swasticharan, Prof. Ramakant, Dr. Dilip Kar, Dr. Arvind Rath, Dr. GK Rath, Dr. Vijayanand Reddy. Thanks to Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and other civil society, NGOs, involved in the ban in the 18 states and 3 Union Territories

RCC Directors write to PM for Gutka ban across India

The Directors of 12 Regional Cancer Centers in India, along with the Indian Dental Association & Tata Memorial Hospital, have written letters individually to the Honourable Prime Minister Shri. Manmohan Singh & Honourable Health Minister Shri. Ghulam Nabi Azad, appreciating the landmark move by the Indian Government. And have also urged them to implement the ban in the remaining states. In the letters addressed to the Prime Minister and the Health Minister, they have raised serious concerns over the growing Gutka/Pan Masala menace and urged the Government of India to take urgent action to completely ban the manufacture and sale of all smokeless tobacco products throughout the country.

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