Cancellation of registration of medical colleges who do not have tobacco cessation clinics is soon going to be a recommendation made by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said its Director General, Dr. Balram Bhargava, recently informed the media
Addressing a gathering of experts at the National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (NICPR) in Noida’s Sector 39, Dr Balram Bhargava, ICMR director-general, said ICMR would be setting up three tobacco testing laboratories in Guwahati, Noida, and Mumbai in July. Dr Bhargava was at the NICPR to launch a book titled “Global Smokeless Tobacco Control Policies and their Implementation”
Speaking on the occasion he said, “We should have tobacco cessation clinics and de-recognize medical colleges that don’t. That is being done for tuberculosis also. Tobacco cessation clinics have not started but they should start and they should start with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and subsequently in other medical colleges,”
Having taken a cue from the government’s policy on drug-resistant tuberculosis He furthered the cause of tax increment on tobacco products.“We have a tax on sugar, salt, tobacco, trans-fatty acids. I think it is going to be very effective once we increase this tax,” he added.
He revealed that a national tobacco control policy is on the anvil and the NICPR of having been entrusted the task of framing its provisions.
“We have four-five scientific and administrative staffers who have joined and hopefully, more will follow. These are going to be state-of-the-art set-ups for testing tobacco products. We will be looking at the constituents of the products. At the moment, there is no facility capable of doing a regulatory test in India,” Dr Ravi Mehrotra, NICPR Director further informed TOI.