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Hyderabad: Celebrities urged not to promote tobacco
Every year May 31 is commemorated as World No-Tobacco Day, and there is an urgent need to enhance awareness of the ill effects of smoking tobacco, chewing tobacco, and even consuming alcohol, especially among youngsters and women.
Hyderabad: Every year May 31 is commemorated as World No-Tobacco Day, and there is an urgent need to enhance awareness of the ill effects of smoking tobacco, chewing tobacco, and even consuming alcohol, especially among youngsters and women.
“Movies and cricket are widely followed in the Indian subcontinent. People of all ages are watching IPL matches, and movies of all languages, thanks to OTT platforms. If any of the movie stars or cricket players promote a product, naturally the impact will be there on adolescents and youth,” said Dr Mahesh Gudelli, Consultant - Clinical and Interventional Pulmonologist, KIMS Hospitals.
He strongly recommended the stars not to endorse any of these products even for bulky remunerations. “We request all celebrities to take a step back and limit themselves from promoting such products even if they are promoted as generic brand names.”
Commenting on the dangers, Dr GV Lakshmi, Consultant Pulmonologist, Amor Hospitals, said, “Glorifying smoking or usage of tobacco products on the silver screen or on the small screen along with a small and insignificant statutory warning in a corner of the screen, is highly deplorable. There are many actors and maybe a few sportsmen too who smoke in their real lives, and fans who follow these stars’ personal lives take inspiration from their regular lifestyles too. These celebrities, who are showered with great love from their fans, have some basic responsibilities towards the society which made them superstars; and unfortunately, they seem not to be living up to the expectations.”
“Though the claim is that these celebrities are only promoting flavoured cardamom, the brands’ association allegedly remains with harmful tobacco products. Despite a ban in 2012, gutka and other smokeless or chewable tobacco products are illegally marketed and consumed across many states in India. And endorsement of celebrities to brands which provide a recall to harmful tobacco products is highly unfortunate,” feels Dr Anusha Kantheti - Consultant Pulmonology, SLG Hospitals.
Dr DS Sowjanya, Consultant Pulmonologist, Kamineni Hospitals. observed that in the past few decades, due to easy access and unrestrained freedom cigarette smoking and tobacco consumption has been on the rise among the youth. “Though there might be a dip in the overall numbers, the trend is carried on unabated among the youth, especially young and working women. Tobacco usage among young girls will certainly have the most adverse impact on the future generations of our country due to bad pregnancies.”
The doctors say that it is the duty of society in general and of parents to ensure teenagers do not find inspiration to smoke. When a father or any other elder in a family smokes tobacco, there is a high probability of a youngster from the house taking to smoking for the sake of fun. It is important to deglamourise smoking to the possible extent and ensure that people do not drive the future of society in the wrong direction.