THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Voice of Tobacco Victims (VoTV), Kerala, has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ban the sale of loose cigarettes in the country. While welcoming the COTPA (Amendment) Bill 2015 that proposes a slew of tobacco control measures to promote public health, the Voice of Tobacco Victims said that the sale of loose cigarettes should be banned as its easy accessibility enhanced their appeal not only among wannabe and initial smokers but also in hardcore smokers.
According to Dr P Balagopal, Head and Neck Oncologist, RCC, a ban on the sale of loose cigarettes will prove to be a major deterrent in a country. “The addictive nature of cigarettes coupled with their widespread availability as single cigarettes enhances impulse purchase.
While easy affordability of loose cigarettes increases consumption among habitual smokers, the bigger cause of worry is the contribution to forming habits among youth,” he said.
Phinse Philip, lecturer, Community Oncology division of Malabar Cancer Centre said that cigarette consumption in the state continues to be at worrying levels in spite of widespread awareness that tobacco use was harmful to health.