Enough body of evidence exists linking tobacco use with life-threatening diseases and disabilities- Bobby Ramakant Despite of the India's legally-binding Cigarette and Other tobacco products Act (2003) and repeated appeals of India's Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Anbumani Ramadoss to bollywood film-stars to refrain from on-screen smoking, there seems to be less compliance in the guise of 'creative liberty'.

Health minister Anbumani Ramadoss, who has a point of view on issues ranging from increasing cell phone use to junk food to smoking and drinking, has been approached by environmental and health activists to lend support in their campaign against controversial genetically modified (GM) food in India. Environmental group Greenpeace knocked on doors of health ministry on Thursday "to remind Ramadoss about health risks of GM foods'.

Health Ministry Orders India's First Major Study To Find Out In a recent pilot study done at Jawaharlal Nehru University, rats subjected to radiation from mobile phones were found to have damaged DNA and low sperm count, leading to infertility and reduction in testis size. The Union health ministry now wants to find out whether excessive cellphone use could be having the same adverse effects on your health.

The WHO and the Union health ministry will launch a pilot project in Cooch Behar and Murshidabad districts of Bengal as part of their nationwide programme to curb the use of tobacco. The plan under the National Tobacco Control Programme involves the setting up of counselling centres at the district level, where experts will advise people on how to kick the habit of smoking. These centres will be located at the district hospitals, from where teams of experts will fan out to various blocks.

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has sought from the Planning Commission an allocation of Rs.9,000 crore for implementing the National Urban Health Mission during the 11th Plan. Disclosing this to reporters here on Sunday, Union Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said the mission would be implemented in slum areas in 429 cities and towns, covering a slum population of five crore. The National Organ Transplant Programme and the National Emergency and Trauma Care Programme were the two major national programmes to be launched by the Ministry shortly.


The India Expert Advisory Group (IEAG) on Polio has recommended that the Health Ministry should focus on eliminating Type-1 polio virus this year and prepare to eradicate Type-3 virus transmission by 2009. "India is leading an intensified polio eradication effort against Type-1 virus and has recorded the lowest ever transmission level of the virus since 2007 till date,' said members of the expert group at their two-day meet which concluded on Thursday.

The stalls are fake, but the messages very real: "Stay away from tobacco abuse to stay healthy.' In an effort to drive home the message of healthy living without tobacco, a non-government organisation working in the areas of mental health, Manas Foundation, with support from the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry and the World Health Organisation has set up fake pan and cigarette stalls at five busy locations across the Capital to disseminate information about the ill-effect of tobacco use, give tips on how to quit and where to seek medical help.

Bidi tobacco is cultivated in around 30% of the total area under tobacco crop and its production accounts 33% of the total tobacco production. About 2,90,000 farmers grow bidi tobacco in India and around 4.4 workers are employed in production of bidis. This employment-oriented sector has become controversial with a recent paper of the Union ministry of health and family welfare entitled

The three public sector vaccine manufacturing units in the country could be allowed to resume production if their restructuring was possible, Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said on Saturday. Dr. Anbumani told mediapersons that a committee appointed by the Union Ministry of Health would visit the three units to investigate if a restructuring was possible to conform to Indian Good Manufacturing Practices, or GMP. (The units are the BCG Vaccine Laboratory at Guindy, Chennai; the Pasteur Institute, Coonoor; and the Central Research Institute, Kasauli.)