Objection to proposed nicotine extraction plant at…


115
115 points

Anti-tobacco forum fears it could encourage vaping; plans protest

Anti-tobacco forum fears it could encourage vaping; plans protest

The Anti-Tobacco Forum in Mysuru has objected to the setting up of a nicotine extraction plant at Nanjangud near here.

Honorary Advisor of Cancer Patients Aid Association and Anti-Tobacco Forum, Mysuru, Vasanthkumar Mysoremath, raised the issue during a question and answer session of a recent webinar organized by Institute of Global Tobacco Control on “Tobacco Control – Learnings from India” with WHO’s National Professional Officer Pravin Sinha and contended that nicotine extracted at the plant can be used for vaping, which has been banned in India.

He said the State government has licensed a tobacco company to extract nicotine at its plant in Nanjangud. The Department of Industries and Commerce, Government of Karnataka, had approved the setting up of the ₹265 crore plant to extract nicotine “knowing fully well that the liquid/crystals can be used for vaping/hookahs”, he contended.

The Anti-Tobacco Forum was in the process of organising a protest against the “public health disservice”, Mr. Mysoremath contended.

His objection to the plant followed a series of questions at the webinar on the Central government continuing to subsidise tobacco cultivation despite being a signatory to WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and insurance companies being allowed to invest in shares of cigarette manufacturing companies, besides MPs and MLAs interacting with farmers and promising them better prices for the tobacco they grow.

Mr. Sinha, in his response, said India had made gradual progress in its tobacco control initiatives and claimed that the Union Commerce Ministry had been cutting the tobacco crop size by 5 per cent every year.

He recalled that the Tobacco Control legislation of 1975 was replaced with COTPA in 2003 and the smoke-free rules were introduced in 2008 followed by warning on the front panel of the cigarette pack in 2009 and on both sides a couple of years later.

He said the progress on tobacco control initiatives in India has been gradual and sustainable. Right now, the proportion of people who do not use tobacco is much larger than the ones who use tobacco, Mr. Sinha contended and said the focus remained on smokers and potential smokers while the Ministry of Labour was also working on alternative livelihood for beedi workers.

For any policy to be successful, Mr. Sinha said there was a need to engage with the community. Their ace for tobacco control in India will be engagement with the youth, he remarked.


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