Monday 04 March 2024

News Analysed, Opinions Expressed

Issues | Smoking

Dear smokers, ask for receipt & claim cancer damage

 

Insist for a bill and preserve it. It's a call for all the smokers or those who chew tobacco or gutkha. Interestingly, it has come from none other than the National Organisation for Tobacco Eradication.

If the Indian courts start thinking on the lines of the ones in the USA, feels NOTE chairman Dr Sharad Vaidya, then the cancer patients suffering due to tobacco consumption may be compensated.

In Florida, tobacco manufacturer Philip Morris was made to pay damages of US $ 13 million (Rs 52 crore) by the Jury to three patients who suffered from lung cancer due to smoking. "If pointed out, the consumer courts here may also follow the suite of Florida", opines Dr Vaidya.

Though the damages in India may not be to the tune of crores of rupees and may also take more time than in the US, it will put the tobacco industry and the retailers on the defensive with thousands of cases to fight in the courts, he visualises.

While asking for the receipt, insist on mentioning the brand name of the cigarette , bidi or gutkha or the tobacco pouch. It will help the consumer to claim damages to their health such as cancer when they develop it later, states Dr Vaidya.

In fact he is of the opinion that the government should make it mandatory for the retailers to issue receipts for the purposes of sales tax in case of pan masala or gutkha since it is a right of the consumer.

"If the consumer is entitled for a receipt for medicine worth even Rs five from the chemist's shop, why not the same for a pack of cigarettes from the small shopkeepers", asks Dr Vaidya.


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