Remedial Measures for Tobacco
The Hindi song: ‘main har fikra ko dhooyein mein udaata chala gaya…’ sounds very sweet. The style of the actor enacting the song, along with its lyrics, seems appealing and music sounds melodious too; but the facts related to smoking are beyond imagination. According to a Global Adult Tobacco Survey, the number of female smokers has increased while the number of male smokers has decreased in last couple of years. Smoking includes 4,800 poisonous substances like nicotine, pyridine, ammonia, carbon-mono-oxide, acetone, arsenic acid etc, 69 of which are directly responsible to cause carcinoma. After an extensive research, Kings College of London concluded that logical aptitude and memory, both continue to decrease in smokers. Smokers (61% male and 62% females) from 30-69 years age group may become tidbit of death’s lord.
The consumption of tobacco in millions is as follows :
- China : 3.11
- Europe : 0.91
- India : 0.72
- Russia : 0.64
- America : 0.53
Miscellaneous eye opening statistics :
- 10 million cigarettes are consumed every minute throughout the world.
- More than 15 billion cigarettes are sold every day. 5 trillion cigarettes are made every year.
- More than 700,000 people die due to passive smoking. Every minute, 2 people die due to smoking.
- 40% of diseases are caused due to tobacco intake (either directly or via cigarette) in India and 15-18 year old age group children are addicted to smoking in India.
15% youth consume tobacco in any form and 10% of the world smokers are Indians. 1 Indian out of 6 amongst world smokers suffers from side-effects of tobacco or diseases caused by tobacco. An approximate 1,000,000 Indian people die untimely due to tobacco consumption. 1 cigarette lessens 60-300 seconds of one’s life and 39 crore trees are cut to make cigarettes every year.
- Number of smokers all over the world in 2014 : 1.50 billion
- Number of smokers all over the world in in 2015 : 1.10 billion
Only in India, the statistics of cigarettes’ sale are 116.166 billion in the year 2011-12 which translates to a per capita consumption of 96 cigarettes.
|Type||Consumption by Male %||Consumption by Female %|
Various actions have been taken by the judiciary, the government and the society to curb the addiction of tobacco in many ways.
Tobacco prohibition by the Indian state governments :
- Rajasthan Tobacco users were banned by government in public sectors
- Delhi Officer consuming tobacco was suspended
- Punjab Open cigarettes’ sale banned
- Assam First smokeless state of India
Courts: According to Supreme Court and High court orders in June 2014, 29 states and 7 union territories were banned to make, use, and store such products. Tobacco and allied products are banned within 100 meters range of schools and religious institutions by the means of prohibition on tobacco related products advertisements in newspapers, TV and radio.
Society’s role: In the year 1993 Nagaland’s small village became first smokeless village of the nation, in 1995 second smokeless village in Kerala and subsequently Shankarpura village in Haryana became smoke-free due to the social impacts and awareness. People’s co-operative bank of Rajkot Gujarat charges comparatively higher interest rate from smokers and its staff is fired if found consuming tobacco or related products.
Former Health Minister Dr. Harshvardhan proposed to increase excise duty by 70% on tobacco and allied products to decrease its consumption, which actually worked and in last 32 years 10.8% people left smoking. According to ‘Industrial Production Index’, production of tobacco has decreased by 12.1%. Throughout the world from 2000-2014, 72% males and 88% females have quit smoking.
Above-all, the contribution of saints cannot be forgotten. H.H. Sant Shri Asharamji Bapu (hereinafter referred to as “Bapuji”) has initiated millions of people and compelled them to leave their vices at the time of initiation. The imposed discipline by the governments, law and society helps, while self-imposed discipline is maintained by all the devotees without any fear or pressure of law. Their (disciples’) instincts lead them towards inspiring and motivating others as well to refrain from such vices. Every year Bapuji used to run vice-free campaigns throughout the year by distributing the booklet:‘Nashe se Saavadhaan’. In addition, various plays / skits presented by the children and the youth of Bal Sanskara Kendra and Yuva Sewa Sangh respectively creates awareness amongst public.
Such a saint is incarcerated in the prison in a fake rape case and still is behind bars on this full-moon night (“Poornima”) as well. His disciples, who are vital examples of devotion, wait for his glimpse and recall those days when they used to go in His satsang where many of them would have taken resolve to abandon the consumption of tobacco and allied products. Bapuji has always inspired his disciples and followers, even the criminals living in his vicinity (in jail premises) to leave vices.
His disciples are waiting for that moment when our revered saint, who encourages us to do the selfless services towards humanity, will come amongst us. Despite giving an honor to Bapuji, the legal system has complicated his case day by day without any reason, that too when his wife (endearingly referred to as “Maiyya ji”) too is also not keeping well.
Isn’t it the accountability of the judiciary to probe into the matter suo-moto and check the involvement of the conspirators who fabricated the case against Bapuji ?
We pray and hope that judicial system will work diligently in order to release such an innocent saint.