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'Tobacco widows' write to PM, urge him to act against lobby

DNJAI66678 | 3/30/2016 | Author : dna correspondent | WC :256

Kota: In an unprecedented initiative, people from different walks of the society have come forward, urging the Prime Minister to stand against the powerful tobacco lobby. On Monday, five widows of former tobacco users wrote to PM Narendra Modi requesting him to rein in the tobacco lobby and implement recommendation of 85% larger pictorial warning on tobacco products. Last week, a group of 653 doctors and presidents of various medical societies had petitioned the PM office seeking implementation of 85% warning on all tobacco products from April 1.
Ashima Sarin, project officer of Voice of Tobacco Victims Campaign, said, "The letters to the PM were written with concern on rising rate of tobacco consumption among the minors and youngsters. If tobacco products are with larger pictorial warning and in non-glorified packs, minors and youngsters are less likely to get attracted to them."
Sumitra Pednekar, widow of a noted politician from Maharashtra, is one of those who have written the letter to the PM.
She said, "I am shocked to hear that a parliamentary panel has once again stalled the implementation of the pictorial warning from April 1, 2016." She added, "What has been lost is lost but now we should check the tobacco consumption among youngsters and minors."
"While all were celebrating Holi, our families were still struggling to overcome the grief of losing our loved ones who died because of tobacco consumption," said Niku Sidhu, who is still trying to come to terms with the death of her husband who passed away in May 2015.

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