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MPs bat for COTPA Amendment Bill

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BHUBANESWAR: Consumption of tobacco is taking a high toll on the health of Indians as more than 1.3 million people die annually due to tobacco-related diseases in the country.

Considering this grave scenario, a voluntary organisation People and Cultural Centre (PECUC in collaboration with Tobacco Free Odisha, held a consultation with MPs on protecting Indians especially children and youth from tobacco related diseases and cancer at the Constitution Club of India in New Delhi.

Parliamentarians from various political parties deliberated and pledged their commitment for stronger tobacco control policy and laws in India at Constitution Club of India,

Former Union Minister Pratap Chandra Sarangi said, “We need to strengthen the law for a healthy nation. A stringent law and its effective implementation are critical to reduce tobacco use in India. Although the law prohibits smoking in public places it is still continuing. Tobacco has an adverse impact on the environment too. We need to save our next generation.”

Rajya Sabha Member Munna Khan said, “Smoking not only harms the smokers but endangers non-smokers when exposed to secondhand smoke. Treatment of tobacco related diseases costs much more than the revenue earned from tobacco. Strengthening COTPA is an urgent requirement to save the new generation from falling into the trap of tobacco addiction.”

Rajya Sabha Member Sujeet Kumar said, “The proposed amendments in COTPA is a commendable move and we will try to get more MPs onboard in support of this national campaign.”

PECUC secretary Ranjan Kumar Mohanty said, “Considering the need of strengthening tobacco control laws, we are very encouraged to see the support from Parliamentarians, who have come today to reiterate their support and commitment for a tobacco free India.” PECUC chairman Dr Minakhi Panda made the concluding remarks and executive director Anuradha Mohanty proposed the vote of thanks.

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