Millennium Post

Widows of tobacco victims write to Modi for 85% pictorial warning

Widows of tobacco victims, including a former minister’s wife, have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking the implementation of doctors’ recommendation for 85 per cent pictorial warning on tobacco products.

Nearly 653 doctors and office -bearers of medical societies across the country had recently urged Modi to implement the new set of 85 per cent pictorial warning on tobacco product packages from April 1, to save millions of lives.

The letters to the PMO by the widows were written with concern about the rising rate of tobacco consumption among minors and youngsters, project officer of ‘Voice of Tobacco Victims Campaign’ Ashima Sarin said. “If tobacco products are with larger pictorial warning and in non-glorified packs, minors and youngsters are less likely to get attracted to them,’ Sarin said.

Sumitra Pednekar, wife of former Maharashtra minister Satish Pednekar who died of oral cancer in 2011, along with four other widows of tobacco victims had on Monday written to the PM, appealing to him to take stern action to check tobacco consumption and for implementation of 85 per cent pictorial warning on such products.

“I am shocked to hear that a parliamentary panel has once again stalled the implementation of the pictorial warning from April 1 this year,” Pednekar said.

A parliamentary panel had earlier this month expressed “disappointment” with the recommendations for larger pictorial warning on tobacco products. “What has been lost (death of husband) is lost, but we should check tobacco consumption among youngsters and minors,” Pednekar said. Selling tobacco products in non-glorified packets with larger pictorial warning rather than in toffee-like attractive packs would certainly keep the youngsters and minors away from purchase, she said.
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