Indian State Not to Sell Tobacco Products on May 31

Setting an example for their counterparts in other states of India to emulate, the Tamil Nadu Traders' Association has decided not to sell tobacco products on May 31, the day being observed as World No Tobacco Day. This year's event would highlight how tobacco consumption had increased in the country.

The traders vowed to do so after participating in a workshop on tobacco control, which was organised by the Cancer Research Institute on Saturday.

"Traders will not sell tobacco on Monday, we will work towards reducing this menace," said Tha Vellaiyan, president of the traders' association.

According to recent statistics, 57% males and 10.9% females consume tobacco in one form or the other.

Dr V Shanta, the Chairman of the Cancer Research Institute, said that there are many cases now where women and children as young as 10 years have taken to tobacco to keep their hunger away.

Many women farm workers keep chewing tobacco whole long day while children have started taking to smoking by picking up used cigarettes thrown by their fathers, Dr V Shanta pointed out while speaking on how the menace could be brought under control by raising awareness about its ill-effects.

In spite of the COTPA 2003, very few traders follow the rules simply because they are ignorant or because the authorities do not take any action against the law breakers, a specialist from the tobacco cessation centre said.