NCPCR chief calls for more taxes on tobacco products, OTT, films showing their use | India News
He said the affordability and ease of access to deadly tobacco products is detrimental, especially for young people, and that a tax increase will not only make these products out of reach, but the additional revenue generated can be used for the treatment and rehabilitation of those suffering from tobacco-related diseases.
Experts have called for making India tobacco-free during National Youth Week, celebrated from January 12 to 18 to mark Swami Vivekananda Jayanti.
Delivering the keynote speech during the webinar “Freedom From Tobacco: What India Wants” on the occasion of National Youth Day, Kanoongo, who is the chairman of Indian body NCPCR, pleaded for increased taxes on a wide range of tobacco products. .
According to a statement, Kanoongo said the affordability and easy availability of these tobacco products is harmful, especially for young people. The additional revenue generated by the tax increase can be used for the treatment and rehabilitation of those suffering from tobacco-related diseases, he said.
In addition to asking for increased taxes on a wide range of tobacco products, the NCPCR chief also suggested increased taxes on movies, OTT (over-the-top) and other media that show the tobacco use in any form.
“Imposing greater taxation on media that display tobacco use will force people to pay more and help discourage the glorification of tobacco products. The NCPCR has also called on the government to use revenue from raising taxes entirely on rehabilitation and prevention activities,” he informed. .
“There is a psychological warfare on the part of the tobacco companies. They target young children by positioning tobacco-related advertisements at the point of sale and by promoting the sale of tobacco products such as gutkha and beedi, alongside sweets, candies and toys,” Kanoongo said.
Currently, India loses more than 13 lakh of its citizens every year to tobacco and second-hand smoke. “The number of tobacco users is increasing and it is frightening to see that children between the ages of 13 and 15 constitute 8.5% of them,” said Professor (Dr) Uma Kumar, head of the department of rheumatology, AIIMS, New Delhi.
Long-term tobacco use is dangerous and is a known cause of cardiovascular problems, neurological disorders, strokes, reduced immunity, recurrent infections, respiratory diseases and auto diseases. -immune. She called for various policy measures to protect young people from this threat.
Poonam Pandey, a veteran journalist, participating in the discussion strongly advocated an increase in taxes on tobacco products to reduce their easy availability. Arun Anand, author and senior journalist, moderated the webinar which was the result of the collective effort of concerned citizens.
An e-book, “What India Wants”, was released on this occasion. This is a compilation of the results of various polls and surveys which suggest that over 88% of respondents want the proposed changes to smoke-free laws to come into effect.
The poll results also indicate a sense of urgency among the masses to make India tobacco-free. A scientific survey conducted in 10 states and several Twitter polls conducted by various concerned citizens are included in this e-book.
“Tobacco consumption takes deeper roots in the country and increasingly invades our children and young people. Children as young as 10 are now using tobacco products,” says the latest Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS-4).
Therefore, experts are insisting on raising taxes and enacting the proposed amendments to the Anti-Tobacco Act, COTPA, to provide better deterrence to tobacco consumption, according to the statement.