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World No Tobacco Day: Tobacco sale, use rampant at Delhi hospitals' gates

World No Tobacco Day
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A man purchasing a cigarette outside GB Pant hospital in Delhi

 Rohit Shishodia
Even as doctors undertake awareness programs about harmful effects of tobacco consumption on the health of people, people in Delhi seem to be ignoring this crucial issue.

Many people can be seen smoking cigarettes outside Delhi government hospitals, hardly caring that it is harmful for their health and and that of others who stand near them.

Ramesh Kumar, 55, a resident of East Delhi, was smoking a cigarette outside Delhi’ GB Pant hospital run by the Delhi government. When he was asked if he did not know about World No Tobacco Day, he said he was not aware of any such program.

Ramesh, who is suffering from a gastroenterology issue, admitted that smoking is injurious to health but he could not quit the habit despite being treated for a gastroenterology ailment and knowing its harmful effects. He further added that sale of tobacco products should not be allowed outside hospitals.

Shivam, a youngster in his twenties who was smoking outside Delhi’s Lok Nayak Hospital, said that he was not aware of World No Tobacco Day program. He said that he was aware of detrimental effects of tobacco on health but he could not quit as he had become addicted.

There were more like Shivam and Ramesh who were smoking and chewing tobacco products despite knowing their harmful impact on their health.

It is surprising that tobacco selling stalls were removed by corporation officials before this correspondent reached these two hospitals but they were again set up and were selling cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products such as Ghutka and Khaini without any fear.


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