‘Medical colleges should set up tobacco clinics’

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‘Medical colleges should set up tobacco clinics’ Noida: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is planning to recommend cancellation of registration of those medical colleges that do not have tobacco cessation clinics, its director-general said on Wednesday.

Addressing a gathering of experts at the National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (NICPR) in Noida’s Sector 39, Dr Balram Bhargava, ICMR director-general, said ICMR would set up three tobacco testing laboratories in Guwahati, Mumbai and Noida in July.

“We should have tobacco cessation clinics and de-recognise medical colleges that don’t. That is being done for tuberculosis also. Tobacco cessation clinics have not started but they should start and they should start with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and subsequently in other medical colleges,” Dr Bhargava said after launching a book titled “Global Smokeless Tobacco Control Policies and their Implementation” at the NICPR here.

Dr Bhargava added he had taken cue from the government’s policy on drug-resistant tuberculosis. He also advocated tax increment on tobacco products.“We have a tax on sugar, salt, tobacco, trans-fatty acids. I think it is going to be very effective once we increase this tax,” he said.

“We have four-five scientific and administrative staffers who have joined and hopefully, more will follow. These are going to be state-of-the-art set-ups for testing tobacco products. We will be looking at the constituents of the products. At the moment, there is no facility capable of doing a regulatory test in India,” Dr Ravi Mehrotra, NICPR director said.

A national tobacco control policy is also on the anvil and the NICPR has been entrusted with framing its provisions, Bhargava added.

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