More than 1,000 youngsters from Bengaluru wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday (July 27), urging him to pass the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) Amendment Bill 2020 in the ongoing monsoon session of the parliament. The initiative has been called to save the youth from Tobacco and other harmful substances.
The National Law School of India University, Consortium for Tobacco Free Karnataka, and Anti-Tobacco Forum also urged the PM to pass the COTPA amendment bill 2020, drafted by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in the current monsoon session of the parliament.
The youth in the letter stressed increasing the legal age limit from 18 to 21 years for tobacco use. Additionally, the letter mentions a request to ban the provision for designated smoking areas at bars, hotels, and airports. The request made by the youth signifies the intention to prevent the use of Tobacco as it harms not only physical health but mental health too.
'Indirect Advertisement Should Be Banned'
Few senior members, including students, health experts and members of civic society, who drafted the letter mentioned that direct and indirect advertisement of Tobacco should also be banned as it's influential among the youth. In contrast, few stressed imposing heavy penalties on those who smoke in public places reported Indian Express.
The Convenor of Consortium for Tobacco Free Karnataka, S.J. Chander, said, "We find that COTPA is being violated blatantly. As per the Global Youth Tobacco Survey, children even before attaining ten years of age are getting addicted to Tobacco. Children and youths are lured into Tobacco through illegal advertisements. We have to ban all forms of direct and indirect tobacco advertisement by bringing the amendment of COTPA."
One of the youths who wrote the letter said that indirect advertisement of Tobacco is the primary reason for today's young generation getting addicted to such harmful substances. The primary target of such advertisements is also youth falling in the age bracket of 18 to 21 years. He added that increasing the age limit for tobacco consumption will reduce its usage.
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