Published on February 7, 2008
Burning Brain Society greets all the people working for a positive change: Burning Brain Society greets all the people working for a positive change The tactics of tobacco industry in subverting the tobacco advertising and promotion ban Interaction by: Hemant Goswami TACTIC NO. 1: TACTIC NO. 1 Tobacco bechney ke liyee kuch bhi karega MODEL Discredit the tobacco control efforts at all costs STYLE Divert the attention, manipulate the media, manipulate enforcement agencies, spread misinformation, & carry on boys IDEA Freedom of speech & expression Movies as vehicle of DEATH: Movies as vehicle of DEATH A Real Brave Move: A Real Brave Move A bravery award in the name of cigarettes and now in the name of the tobacco company From Red & White Bravery to Godfrey Phillips Bravery TACTIC Involve everyone who matters: Governors, Vice President, Secretaries of GoI, Political Leaders, Social Activists, Journalists, Police Officials, Judges, etc. HAVE THEM ON YOUR SIDE & MAKE THEM MORALLY IMPOTENT Scientifically incorrect messages: Scientifically incorrect messages Using the overseas Magazines: Using the overseas Magazines And Keep on Advertising: And Keep on Advertising Damn the law Damn the 30X60 cms limitation Dress to Kill: Dress to Kill From the website of ITC – A Growing Brand Gold Flake remains India's biggest FMCG brand in terms of sales for the second year running. Wills Navy Cut ranks at No. 4. ITC's Scissors brand ranks at No 5 and is the only new entrant into the top 10 this year. Don’t leave the slightest loophole: Don’t leave the slightest loophole Advertisements inside the pack: Often visible in houses of smokers; outside shops & children collect these cards to play Tobacco companies using the (unnecessarily inserted) Proviso of Section 5-3(a) of Tobacco Control Act 2003 Using all the loop-holes: Using all the loop-holes We sell snacks & tea too: We sell snacks & tea too Never mind if you have never seen the products We will keep on showing you the advertisement in the mean while you see our tobacco products From the Website of ITC: From the Website of ITC Questions about There exists a huge bidi segment, which is almost 8 to 10 times that of cigarettes. This segment contributes very little in terms of tax revenues, arising from the fragmented and cottage industry nature of this segment. As income levels rise, especially in rural areas, smokers would switch from consumption of other lower value forms of tobacco to cigarettes. Moderation in rates of taxes, coupled with the aspiration of tobacco consumers to upgrade consumption, can multiply the share of cigarettes in India even in a shrinking basket of overall tobacco consumption. This principle stands reinforced by the experience of China. Despite China's per capita incomes being roughly double that of India, tax rates are half the Indian rates resulting in 10 times the revenue collection compared to the Indian cigarette industry. TOBACCO TACTIC: Have you heard about our social initiative: TOBACCO TACTIC: Have you heard about our social initiative Keep flashing your brand names in the media Tell people you are good and responsible Involve Government officials and politicians in your activities, keep on showering gifts Share the dais and public space with them Tell everyone that tobacco can never be controlled & it is normal and a part of our culture; suggest that till the time manufacturing is legal, it is legal to sell Areas of focus to handle subversion tactics: Areas of focus to handle subversion tactics The legislation is weak and must be given more teeth so that it is effective. An amendment is necessary. But this in no way prevents from the present provisions being put to force. Politicians have more-or-less performed their duty by enacting the legislation. It is the executive and the administrative arms of the state who are lacking behind. The liaison between the executive and administrative officials and the tobacco companies is playing a big role. Personal Preferences are overriding the lawful responsibilities. The size of the problem is discouraging many. The solution is not overnight. A climb down in some ways: A climb down in some ways Section 278 of the IPC*: Making atmosphere noxious to health: - Whoever voluntarily vitiates the atmosphere in any place so as to make it noxious to the health of persons in general dwelling or carrying on business in the neighborhood or passing along a public way, shall be punished with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees. Section 21 of COTPA**: Penalty for smoking in certain places: Whoever contravenes the provisions of section 4 shall be punishable with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees. We need to rethink and be serious enough to levy a penalty which is a real deterrent. Token acts serve no purpose. *IPC: Indian Penal Code **COTPA: Cigarette & Other Tobacco Products Act Dwindling Commitment: Dwindling Commitment Section 293 of the IPC: Sale, etc., of obscene objects to young person:--Whoever sells, lets to hire, distributes, exhibits or circulates to any person under the age of twenty years any such obscene object as is referred to in the last preceding section, or offers or attempts so to do, shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, and, in the event of a second or subsequent conviction, with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and also with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees. Section 24 of COTPA: For selling tobacco to children: Any person who contravenes the provisions of section 6 shall be guilty of an offence under this Act and shall be punishable with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees. A practical way of controlling tobacco in INDIA: A Suggestion: A practical way of controlling tobacco in INDIA: A Suggestion License all the tobacco shops Anyone who so ever wish to sell tobacco must obtain a license to do so. This way we can control the random growth of tobacco vendors. Stop the sale of tobacco by and to minors. Restrain ever shop owner from selling tobacco. Restrain the promotion of tobacco products over the counter as the number of counters shall be reduced. Other benefits of LICENCING tobacco shops: Other benefits of LICENCING tobacco shops Besides it shall provide additional revenue which can be used by the State to promote the Tobacco Free Initiative activities. The budget of anti-tobacco campaigns which at present is close to nothing will come at par with that of tobacco companies. The influence of tobacco companies over the policy makers will reduce because the revenue will start flowing from other quarters. What can we do for this? : What can we do for this? Lobby for a central policy on licensing of tobacco shops. Ask the respective State Governments to license tobacco shops. Correspond with all the responsible people. Keep the flow of communication. Sell the idea to others and let them pass it as their own idea. Transfer the ownership. Share the benefits of licensing tobacco shops with the policy makers, media and opinion makers. SOLUTIONS: SOLUTIONS Direct Action against violation Wake up the Government Create a fund for legal action License all tobacco related activities Only Licensed tobacco vendors Plug the loop holes through rules & Amend the legislation Serious laws please We can do it together: We can do it together All social changes are brought by a handful of people. People who understand the problem and are sensitive to it. Social change is very rarely a mass movement. People who direct the efforts for change are always a very small bunch of dedicated people. History has it. Let’s move with the spirit of FCTC. Let’s lead and take our world in a positive direction. WE CAN DO IT.