Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan (File photo)
Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan (File photo)

Dr Vardhan congratulates Jharkhand for ban on tobacco, spitting at public places

ANI | Updated: May 14, 2020 17:59 IST


New Delhi [India], May 14 (ANI): Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan has written to Jharkhand Health Minister Banna Gupta, congratulating him for banning the sale of tobacco products and spitting at public places in view of COVID-19 crisis.
Dr Vardhan, in his letter dated May 11, also urged Gupta to take appropriate steps to create widespread awareness in the State regarding the harms of spitting at public places.
"At the outset, let me congratulate you for banning the sale of tobacco products and spitting at public places. As you are aware, tobacco use is a major threat to public health globally," Dr Vardhan said in the letter.
It said that smokeless tobacco users have a tendency to spit at public places or otherwise and therefore, increase health risks, especially those of spreading infectious and contagious diseases like COVID-19, tuberculosis, swine flu, encephalitis, etc.
"The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has issued an appeal requesting the general public not to consume and spit smokeless tobacco in public as 'chewing smokeless tobacco products increases the production of saliva followed by a very strong urge to spit. Spitting in public places could enhance the spread of COVID-19 virus," the letter said.
"Further, the guidelines dated May 1, 2020, issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs under the National Disaster Management Act, 2005, stipulate that 'spitting in public places shall be punishable with fine, as may be prescribed by the state ut local authority and consumption of liquor, paan, gutka, tobacco, etc in public places is not allowed'," added the letter.
Highlighting that the State can help in achieving Swachh Bharat and Swasth Bharat by banning spitting at public places, Dr Vardhan requested that the directions of Ministry of Home Affairs in this regard be implemented scrupulously and effectively.
Jharkhand government had last month imposed a ban on the sale and use of tobacco products like cigarettes, bidi, pan masala, hookah, gutka and electronic cigarettes in the state. (ANI)

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