NGO seeks ban on tobacco ad during World Cup

An NGO Monday sought to ban tobacco advertisements during the cricket World Cup, saying these will have an adverse effect on the minds of the people.

New Delhi-based HRIDAY (Health Related Information Dissemination Amongst Youth) Monday wrote to International Cricket Council (ICC) President Sharad Pawar on the issue, the group’s communications officer Nikunj Sharma told IANS.

Given the World Cup fever that has gripped the sub-continent, Indian tobacco giant ITC has commissioned the display of messages like ‘Beating the Best’ or ‘Grabbing a Flier’ to promote its cigarette brands at various points of sale (PoS), he said.

NGO seeks ban on tobacco products during World Cup

NGO seeks ban on tobacco products during World Cup

‘This is in violation of the tobacco control rules, which say display boards should only list the type of tobacco products available, he said.

‘No brand pack shot, brand name of the tobacco product or other promotional message and picture should be displayed on the board,’ he said.

Tobacco is a growing menace worldwide with more than a million deaths occurring in India due to diseases related to tobacco use, he said.

‘In a country where 5,500 youth experiment with tobacco every day, such advertisements and promotion of cigarettes will strengthen the sport’s association with tobacco use in the minds of youth’ he said.

‘We have urged the president of the ICC to discourage tobacco companies from using cricket as a medium for promoting tobacco brands’ Sharma added.

HRIDAY works in collaboration with the ministry of health and family welfare and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

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