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Flavoured tobacco aimed at school kids: NGO
It might be hard to find this product in local cigarette shops. But the flavored tobacco called Cool Lip, sold near schools, has many students addicted.
It seems like yet another attempt of the tobacco industry to make addicts out of the young generation. A Chennai-based student initiative called Children Against Tobacco (CAT) had recently reported of a tobacco product called Cool Lip, which is now being sold near schools in the city. According to CAT, people might find it hard to get this tobacco product in ‘regular’ cigarette shops in the city. But for shops located in the surroundings of schools, this seems to be one of the most popular products, which has found users in several school students.
S Cyril Alexander, the State Convener of the Tamil Nadu People’s Forum for Tobacco Control (TNPFTC), an NGO, to which CAT is affiliated says, “This product seems to have been targeted at minors, owing to the mild flavour. We have been intimated by the higher authorities in schools in Chennai that they have found some of their students indulging in the consumption of this flavoured filter tobacco. Each pack costs just about Rs 9 and it comes with 12 sachets in it. We have written a formal letter to the Government of Punjab, the state where this product is manufactured, so that they bring these manufacturers to justice.”
The NGO has a packed agenda ahead of it. In the run-up to the forthcoming Tamil Nadu assembly elections in 2016, the group has also put together a document called the People’s Manifesto for Tobacco Control, which it will release on Friday. The manifesto addresses a range of concerns including tactics adopted by the tobacco Industry to attract children and the association of politicians with the tobacco industry, among others.
Cyril explains “We have sent a representation to the Election Commission, demanding a law to prevent politicians, who have affiliations with the tobacco industry, or function as distributors of tobacco products, from contesting the elections. We are also requesting the Election Commission to impose a ban on political parties from obtaining funding for their election campaign from companies that are part of the tobacco industry.
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