Creating contradictions

Published: Thursday 15 March 2001

amid the hype of the Union cabinet's proposal to ban smoking in public places and discontinue tobacco companies' sponsorship of sports and cultural events, the Union government has taken a very contradictory step. It has signed a memorandum of understanding with Greece for exporting tobacco. Analysts feel that this is a violation of the World Health Organisation's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (fctc), of which India is a signatory. According to fctc, all the member countries have to take steps to reduce tobacco consumption.

Tobacco products (prohibition of advertisement and regulation) Bill 2000 will be presented in parliament in March 2001. But experts feel that the bill will never be passed in the parliament as "the industry will influence politicians," says Bejon Misra of the Voluntary Organisation in Interest of Consumer Education (voice), a New Delhi-based non-governmental organisation.

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