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Tobacco industries reorienting strategies to target youths

Written by: Staff
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Patna, Mar 26 (UNI) In the wake of the ban imposed by the Union Government on tobacco advertisments, the Indian tobacco industries have reoriented their strategies to hook and sustain young adults to be life long tobacco addicts, experts said.

Keeping in mind the legal age of 18 years for purchase and sale of tobacco, the tobacco industries have changed their marketing strategies and instead of direct advertisments, they are now sponsoring programmes attended by the youth, they said.

Chairman, School of Preventive Oncology, Dr Dhirendra Narayan Sinha expressed concern over the growing trend, saying that dance and cultural programmes attended by the youth are being sponsored by cigarette and gutka (flavored chewing tobacco) companies like Godfrey Philips and Manickchand.

''Benson and Hedges Nights'' are common features in the city pubs and discotheques frequently visited by young adults he said.

According to him, Indian Tobacco Company (ITC) had launched 40 up-market Wills Lifestyle stores in major towns and cities in the country during the last two years to promote their flagship cigarette brandWills among the young generations.

Dr Sinha, who had conducted the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) in India, suggested for two pronged strategies improving policies and programmes to combat the emerging industry strategies.

The loopholes in the existing law should also be immediately corrected he empahsised.

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