Tobacco Control in India: A Deep Dive into the Challenges Faced
There are a number of reasons why tobacco is not banned in India.
- Economic reasons: Tobacco is a major source of revenue for the Indian government. In 2020-21, the government earned over ₹2 lakh crore (US$26 billion) in excise duty from tobacco products. A ban on tobacco would result in a significant loss of revenue.
- Employment: The tobacco industry employs millions of people in India. A ban on tobacco would lead to job losses in the farming, manufacturing, and retail sectors.
- Political reasons: The tobacco industry is a powerful lobby group in India. Politicians are often reluctant to take action against the industry for fear of losing their support.
- Social reasons: Tobacco use is deeply ingrained in Indian culture. For many people, tobacco is a part of their social and religious life. A ban on tobacco would be difficult to enforce and would likely be met with resistance from some sections of society.
The Indian government has taken some steps to reduce tobacco consumption. For example, the government has banned smoking in public places and has increased taxes on tobacco products. However, the government has not yet taken the step of banning tobacco outright.
The debate over whether or not to ban tobacco is likely to continue for many years to come.