Tobacco use is one of the major hurdles in the path of economic development among low-income communities in the country.
Mumbai: In a move to fight tobacco addiction in the country, the government of India (GoI) Saturday introduced Nirmal, a nicotine replacement gum, under its Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP).
The gum was launched on the occasion of Jan Aushadhi Diwas. Starting Saturday, Nirmal will be available in various districts across the country in the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendras.
Tobacco use is one of the major hurdles in the path of economic development among low-income communities in the country. The central government has taken this step as smoking has a lot of adverse effects including morbidity, impairment of productivity and heavy healthcare costs which drive families to bankruptcy and debt traps. 80 per cent of the smokers in India are from low-income families and there is an estimated 30 million smokers in the country. Nirmal, the nicotine gum, is expected to reduce the demographic burden considerably.
Inclusion of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) in the mainstream de-addiction drive is a progressive and welcome move, which will have far-reaching impact on the physical and economic health of the country.
Dr Jagannath P., the head of the National Tobacco Control Programme “Nirmal” under the Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana, said that through this initiative, the government had taken a bold step to-wards reducing casualties due to tobacco addiction.