DMC, HCFI & IMA send appeal to the Health Ministry to ban the sale of all tobacco products in Delhi on World No Tobacco Day on May 31st - Recommend the implementation of a dry tobacco day similar to dry liquor days observed across the country on Gandhi Jayanti, Republic Day etc. New Delhi, May 28, 2016: The Delhi Medical Council (DMC), Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) & Indian Medical Association (IMA) have jointly sent an appeal to Honorable Health Minister of Delhi, Shri Satyendar Jain requesting him to declare May 31st as a dry tobacco day in the city. They have recommended a complete ban on the sale of all tobacco products including cigarettes, gutka, hookah and e-cigarettes for a period of 24 hours. World No Tobacco Day is observed across the globe on May 31st every year. It is aimed at encouraging people to abstain from consuming tobacco for 24 hours and raising awareness about the hazardous effects of tobacco consumption on a person’s health and well-being. Tobacco use is responsible for nearly 6 million deaths each year worldwide, 600,000 of which are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. “Several days of relevance including Gandhi Jayanti on 2nd October are observed as dry days in India with a complete ban on the sale of liquor for 24 hours. Then why not observe May 31st as a dry tobacco day. The increasing consumption of tobacco products by a younger population in Delhi and subsequent rise in the cases of cancer, heart disease, and respiratory ailments are a point of concern for the medical fraternity. The average age of initiation of tobacco use in India is 19 years and three months. The need of the hour is to raise mass level awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco consumption and take necessary steps to curb its use,” said Dr Arun Gupta – President DMC and Padma Shri Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal – President HCFI and Honorary Secretary General IMA. “We hope to see Delhi as the first city in the World to implement a complete ban on the sale of all tobacco products on World No Tobacco Day and to set an example for other states and countries” they added. According to the recently released Global Adult Tobacco Survey, about 35 per cent of the adults in India consume tobacco in some form or the other. The estimated number of tobacco users in India is 27.5 crore, with 16.37 crore users of smokeless tobacco, 6.9 crore only smokers and 4.23 crore users of both smoking and smokeless tobacco. A copy of the letter has also been marked to Sh Arvind Kejriwal Chief Minister Government of Delhi.