Panaji: Chief Ministers of 11 states have pledged their support to Voice of Tobacco Victims (VOTV), a national campaign against chewing tobacco.
General Secretary of National Organisation for Tobacco Eradication (NOTE), Shekhar Salkar stated that chief ministers of Assam, Goa, Punjab, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Gujarat have pledged to do their best for oral cancer victims, doctors and tobacco control advocates of their states.
"The victims, along with oncologists met their respective chief ministers and urged them to protect the people of their states from harmful effects of tobacco products by banning gutka, implementing stringent pictorial on chewing tobacco products, putting an end to indirect advertising of chewing tobacco product, stopping sale of chewing tobacco products near educational institutions, increasing taxation on all tobacco products," Salkar stated.
"All the chief ministers assured the victims of their commitment by signing a pledge calling for a ban on gutka and khaini products," Salkar said.
"I will raise my voice against this issue and support all initiatives to rid India of this menace of gutka and khaini and help save millions of Indian lives," reads the pledge.
It is heartening that custodians of health of the state have pledged their support for tobacco control, said Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, Associate Professor, Head and Neck Department Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai.
"We salute all those CMs who have openly supported and urge those, whom we could not reach and those, who are still to decide about their stand on this issue, to support this initiative to get rid of this menace from India," he said.