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Sunita Tomar, poster girl of India’s Anti-Tobacco campaign dies

Sunita Tomar, poster girl of India’s anti-tobacco campaign passed away at her hometown in Bhind district of Madhya Pradesh. She was 28 and was diagnosed with oral cancer.

She had appeared in government’s 30-second video titled ‘Sunita’ which had highlighted the devastating effect of smokeless tobacco. The video had shown her personal testimony before and after an operation to remove the cancerous growth and a part of her mouth.

For this video Sunita had teamed with Voice of Tobacco Victims (VoTV) in order to create awareness about the tobacco-cancer.

It is estimated that tobacco causes 40% of the cancer in India. Around 10 lakh new cancer cases are reported every year. In fact, India has the highest incidence of oral cancer in the world, prompting its link to the habit of chewing tobacco among Indians. While, 60% of oral cancer patients in India die within a year or two of their diagnosis because of their late treatment.

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Union Cabinet approves amendments to the Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973

Union Cabinet gave its approval for the amendment of the Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973. Decision in this regard was taken by Union Cabinet meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The approved amendments in parent act aims at improving the quality of homeopathy education in the country to provide better healthcare through the homeopathy system of medicine.

The amendments will add provisions related to granting permission by Union Government to all homoeopathic medical colleges for continuing courses to impart quality education.

Amendments approved

  • Union Government’s permission is being made mandatory for all the homoeopathy colleges to undertake annual admissions.
  • Union Government can give permission for 5 years to homoeopathy colleges which conform to the prescribed standards as specified in the Act.

Background

The existing provisions of parent Act do not empower Union Government to stop admissions in existing homoeopathy colleges which are not conforming to standards specified in the Act. Thus, comprising the quality of homoeopathy education.

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Delhi Government bans all forms of chewable tobacco

Delhi Government on 30 March 2015 banned sale, purchase, storage and manufacturing of all forms of chewable tobacco including guktha and pan masala containing tobacco.

In this regard, Delhi Government led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has issued notification banning all products of chewable tobacco in all forms.

The ban on all such products will continue for next one year owing to public interest and thereafter, government will extend the ban all these products every year.

To implement the ban various citizen’s monitoring committees will be formed in every constituency in order to educate the masses.

Previously in September 2012, Delhi government had issued notification to ban gutkha. It was issued in pursuance of series of directions from the Supreme Court to ban gutkha.

However the banning of gutkha was not served as the notification only had mentioned gutkha products and not banned the tobacco products. The new proposal bans all the raw chewable tobacco products in Delhi and takes strict action against the violators. But no such ban has been enforced on cigarettes in Delhi.

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