Mumbai: After controversial comments of BJP MP Dilip Gandhi that there was no Indian evidence to link cancer to cigarettes, another BJP lawmaker Shyam Charan Gupta backed the former’s remark asking, “Why can’t doctors explain why chain smokers don’t get cancer?”
Arguing against the strict tobacco rules proposed by the government to curb smoking, Gupta told an English news channel, “Sugar is also harmful and causes diabetes – no one can stop that.”
He further stated that the tobacco industry was being ‘unfairly targeted’. Incidentally, Gupta owns a beedi-making business worth hundreds of crores.
Earlier, Gandhi had said, “There is no Indian survey report to prove that tobacco consumption leads to cancer. All the studies are done abroad.”
“Cancer does not happen only because of tobacco. We have to study the Indian context, as four crore people in states like Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh are dependent on beedi-making through Tendupatta,” Gandhi had said.
He added the Committee has only sought for deferment of tobacco warnings till it looks into the whole issue with Indian context and not be driven by foreign surveys. The notification regarding amendment to the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Rules, 2008 sought increase in the size of specified health warning from the current 40% to 85% of the principal display area of the package of tobacco products.