Hyderabad: The state government has taken cudgels against Tobacco consumption and is determined to implement the existing Act with an iron hand to dampen the habit which was taking its daily toll of 200 persons in the state.
At a review meeting at the Secretariat on Tuesday with senior officials of the Public Health Department, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy instructed them to control the tobacco consumption effectively.
However, on the other side of the coin, the Central government would incur a loss of Rs 40,000 crore annually if the tobacco related products sales decline and its consumption is discouraged.
The toll taken by the killer tobacco was equally baffling.
Yearly 10.50 lakh consumers die in the country and 8 per cent of these are in Andhra Pradesh who lose their lives due to consumption of tobacco and its related products like gutkha, cigarettes, beedies among others.
The Chief Minister left clear instructions to decrease the tobacco crop, 40 per cent of which was grown in the state.
More and more people were falling into the habit of consuming it and it resulted in cancer, diabetes, lung infection, the Chief Minister is believed to have told the officials. Men accounted for 30 per cent tobacco consumption, females 5 per cent and youth 4 per cent. The state tops in tobacco consumption in the country.
Following the Chief Minister’s instructions, strict measures would be taken to prevent smoking at public places like cinema halls, hotels, institutions, bus and railway stations etc and a fine of Rs 200 will be levied from the smoker on a complaint, Principal Secretary, Health, P V Ramesh told newsmen while giving details of the review meeting.(INN)