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FIR Against Tobacco Company for Surrogate Advertising

An FIR has been lodged against a tobacco company for alleged surrogate advertisements of its gutka and tobacco products on TV and radio.

The FIR was lodged last week on the complaint of Tobacco Control Cell of Delhi government.

“We sent a strict compliance notice under Section 5 of COTPA 2003 to the company on July 24 to immediately stop the surrogate advertisements of its ‘pan masala’ which is being aired on TV and radio for some time.”

“But the company has failed to comply with the notice and therefore we have lodged FIR against the company at Deputy Commissioner of Police (East Delhi) for appropriate action,” Dr S K Arora, Additional Director of Health, Delhi government said.

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In the recent past, Delhi government had removed similar advertisements on a big hoarding at Surajmal Vihar in East Delhi and from Delhi Metro coaches.

As per Section 5 of COTPA 2003, all kinds of advertisements of tobacco products direct as well as indirect are banned in India.

Delhi government’s initiative to ban chewable tobacco products is pending and will come up for hearing in the High Court tomorrow.

Tobacco products account for 9 to 10 lakh deaths annually in India.

In Delhi, the major problem is the smoking form of tobacco as compared to the rest of India where chewable tobacco products are the major culprits.

India currently has 275 million tobacco users and its consumption is responsible for half of all the cancers in men and a quarter of all cancers in women.