Women who lost husbands to tobacco tell Modi to act
Mumbai: Five women who lost their husbands to cancer have written an open letter to PM Narendra Modi to highlight the harmful effects of tobacco.
On the eve of World No Tobacco Day, the women—including the widow of the late labour minister Satish Pednekar—pointed out that Gujarat was the only state in the country that continued to manufacture gutka while other states had banned its production, distribution and sale. “From there (Gujarat), it is smuggled to all other states of India, in violation of the bans. Surely you know this?” said their letter.
Satish Pednekar succumbed to oral cancer in 2011. His widow Sumitra has written, “My husband’s illness happened because of his addiction to mawa, a mix of T he Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued notices to importers, distributors and retailers of e-cigarettes across the state. Stating that use of e-cigarettes was rampant among the youth, FDA commissioner Dr Harshdeep Kamble said that while e-cigarettes were promoted as a tobacco cessation device, the Drug Controller General of India had only allowed sale of nicotine patches and gums containing up to 2mg of nicotine for tobacco cessation therapies. E-cigarettes have up to 10 to 11mg of nicotine. “Those found guilty will be sentenced to three to five years under the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act,” said Kamble. E-cigarettes are banned in Maharashtra but this is the first time that the FDA is strongly enforcing it. chewing tobacco and pan masala. In his last few months, my husband could not swallow even watery dal-khichdi. My daughters and I are still struggling to come to terms with the scars left by his extended illness and tragic demise.” She added that cancer was also a lifestyle disease that “comes by invitation for adults and is given as a gift to children by adults”.
“Cancer is the second killer followed by heart attack. Both are attributable to tobacco. In fact, 50% cancers are related to tobacco. A total of 40% of cancer-related deaths are related to tobacco and 20% all deaths are related to tobacco,” the letter said, adding, “How many more widows and orphans will you allow the industry to make before India says enough?”