"India has many stringent laws to check use of tobacco but I feel we can do more by taking strict action against surrogate advertising of tobacco products and more taxation for tobacco industry," she said at the International Conference on Public Health Priorities in the 21st Century.

She was conferred the Global Honour for a Visionary Leader at the event. Sushma Swaraj, who was the union health minister in National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, said the government needs to take more action for implementing anti-tobacco laws. "There are enough laws and challenges like are we able to punish people smoking at public places or in government offices," she said.

She said the globally agreed target of a 30 percent reduction of tobacco use by 2025 is "less" as actually, tobacco usage is being reduced by even less than three percent annually. Emphasising on generating an alternate source of livelihood for people employed in the tobacco industry, Sushma Swaraj said: "We need to have a multi-sectoral efforts and concerted action on all fronts."

India is the second largest consumer of tobacco products in the world and the third largest producer of tobacco. Nearly 275 million people use tobacco in India. Almost 48 percent men and 20 percent women use some form of tobacco.


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