Khader proposes ban on chewing tobacco

Minister for Health and Family Welfare U T Khader said the department had put forth a proposal to the State requesting a ban on chewing tobacco.

Addressing the first batch students of the Bachelor of Homoeopathic Medicine and Surgery course at the Government Homoeopathy Medical College and Hospital here on Monday, he said, “The proposal has been put forth and a decision in this regard will be taken at the Cabinet meeting.”

He said the move was taken in view of the increasing number of oral cancer cases. “We have seen a large number of oral cancer cases being reported. Even the WHO had proposed the same,” he said.

Khader said that  there was a need to focus on preventive health care, since diseases related to tobacco consumption were on the rise. He said that despite a ban on gutka, many companies and individuals had been importing the commodity from neighbouring states. “Taking undue advantage of a few shortcomings in the laws, these companies have been challenging the government. Strict action will be taken against those who have been violating law and purchasing gutka from neighbouring states,” he said.

The minister said the ban on chewing tobacco or gutka would not affect the areca nut growers as the price of the produce could go up.

Dr B T Rudresh, president, Karnataka Homoeopathic Board asked for separate homoeopathic units to be set up. “Across the State, there are about 12,000 homoeopathy practitioners and there are just 42 treatment units. Considering the manpower, there is a need for at least 230 additional units,” he said.

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