New Delhi: Noting that use of tobacco imposes serious consequences on economy and society, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said its control needs a combination of political and public health action and multi-sectoral policies will drive down its demand and supply.In a televised address at `The International Conference on Public Health Priorities in the 21st Century: The Endgame for Tobacco`, Singh said tobacco use had claimed about 100 million lives in 20th century and is likely to claim a billion lives this century "unless it is stopped with a firm resolve". Stating that the country is committed to a vision of tobacco-free society, he said Parliament had enacted comprehensive legislations for tobacco control and touted the ban on sale and manufacture of gutka products in 33 states and UTs. He also highlighted the ban on public smoking and ban on advertisement of tobacco products that help reduce tobacco intake. Voicing concerns of tobacco farmers, Singh said, "As we act with conviction and commitment to eliminate tobacco as a threat to global health, we must also help those engaged in tobacco farming or manufacture to move towards economically viable alternate livelihoods."
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