BENGALURU: The Health Department has forwarded a proposal to the state government to ban chewing tobacco, Health Minister Khader said here on Monday. A decision on the proposal will be taken at the Cabinet meet on Wednesday, he said while addressing the new batch of BHMS students at the Government Homeopathy Medical College and Hospital in the city.
“The department has recorded a large number of oral cancer cases,” he said and added that the World Health Organisation has also proposed similar guidelines. The minister said it was important to focus on preventive healthcare. “Although there is a ban on gutka, many companies and a few individuals have been importing the commodity from neighbouring states,” he said. “These firms are tweaking the law and have challenged the government. Strict action can be taken against those violating the law.”
The minister assured arecanut growers that the ban on chewing tobacco or gutka would not affect them. Khader praised former Union minister Ghulam Nabi Azad for his stand against tobacco consumption. He said the current proposal is based on a letter that Azad had sent to all states to ban tobacco.
As promised in the budget, the government has been promoting homeopathy stage by stage, Khader said. “We are ready to extend all the support needed.”
Dr B Rudresh, president, Karnataka Homeopathic Board, said, “Across the state, there as many as 12,000 homeopathy practitioners but just 42 treatment units. There is a need for at least 230 additional units.” He also urged the government to help set up a Homeopathy Bhavan soon.