In a drive against smoking at public places and illicit sale of tobacco, Delhi’s health department raided around 100 shops in Saket area and issued challans worth Rs 21,700 to vendors and individuals. The raid was conducted on Thursday by teams of the State Tobacco Control Cell in collaboration with the Delhi Police to crack down on direct and indirect advertisement and illicit trade of tobacco products. “…the area in Saket outside the PVR Cinema is considered to be the biggest hub of tobacco vendors in Delhi, where nearly 100 shops of tobacco sellers are situated to attract the youngsters visiting this area. “Therefore, we decided to conduct raid in this area to assess the situation of tobacco advertisements and illicit trade practices. The aim was also to create awareness among youths about the ill-effects of tobacco, cigarette and hookah smoking,” said Dr S K Arora, Additional Director (Health), the Delhi government. Arora said the youths, especially school students, get attracted to tobacco because of direct and indirect advertisements of tobacco products.
He said, apart from brand promotion, tobacco industry targets youths by misleading advertisements by using terms such as slim, ultra slim, safe cigarettes, ISO-certified nicotine and tar, flavoured, sweet cigarette and e-cigarette as cessation devices, etc. “All these are myths. It is important to sensitise the youth about the ill-effects of tobacco and check such practices of promotion of tobacco industry. “Around 100 shops were raided and challans worth Rs 21, 700 were issued to vendors and individuals,” he said.