Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Friday announced that advertisements of tobacco products would be banned across the state.

"The government will take all legal measures to reduce tobacco consumption, such as banning advertisements and increasing taxes. Tax on cigarettes has been raised from 15 to 20 percent in the state budget. This was done to bring down consumption," Chandy said at a function in Thiruvananthapuram on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day.

"Although the anti-tobacco law has brought down smoking in public, it is still a matter of concern that nearly 35 percent of people over 15 years use tobacco products in some form or the other. A strong awareness campaign is needed against tobacco use," the Chief Minister added.

Studies have shown that tobacco use causes 30,000 to 40,000 deaths in the state every year.

(Agencies)

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