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HindustanTimes Tue,30 Sep 2014

No smoking please, Shahrukh: NGO

PTI  Panaji, October 27, 2007
First Published: 01:46 IST(27/10/2007) | Last Updated: 03:04 IST(27/10/2007)
Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan was on Saturday issued a legal notice by an NGO for smoking in public during the two recent events - the Twenty20 cricket match in Mumbai and Hindustan Times Summit in Delhi.

The NGO, National Organisation for Tobacco Eradication (NOTE) issued legal notice to film actor Shahrukh Khan for smoking in public during the two recent events - the Twenty20 cricket match in Mumbai and Hindustan Times Summit in Delhi.

NOTE, an anti-tobacco NGO, which is already into a legal battle with megastar Amitabh Bachchan over his movie posters showing him smoking cigar, issued legal notice through its lawyer.

The NGO has threatened to sue Khan for promoting smoking in public places, which is banned under the Anti-Tobacco Act.
The notice to Khan has been issued under Sections 4 and 5 (3) of cigarette and other tobacco products (prohibition of advertisements and regulation of trade and commerce, production, supply and distribution) Act, 2003.

"Images of Shahrukh Khan inhaling smoke were shown on Doordarshan during its telecast of the Twenty20 cricket match in Mumbai on October 20. The national television channel's telecast of such outrageous images is another act worth condemnation," NOTE general secretary Dr Shekhar Salkar told PTI.

Prior to this incident, Khan was shown sitting on the dais with a lighted cigarette in his hand during the Hindustan Times Summit in Delhi on October 12 and 13, NOTE said.

These acts show the much-acclaimed actor and youth icon in a very poor light, the NGO mentioned.

A superstar, imitated and adored by millions cannot lend a helping hand to promote smoking, Salkar added.
NOTE has termed Khan's act as illegal, indecent and unethical.

Incidentally, notice to Khan comes on the day of the release of Anurag Kashyap's movie No Smoking, starring John Abraham. The film depicts the hazardous effects of tobacco consumption.

"The sufferings of not only the addict, but those of his kins are passionately portrayed in the film and the director should be applauded for making a film with time relevant social message," Salkar, a cancer surgeon by profession, said.

He said the message of the film acquires credence in face of the fact that annually 10,00,000 Indians succumb to various respiratory and cardiac diseases, the most dreaded being cancer, in many cases due to tobacco consumption.

"Tobacco-related cancer itself contributes to 40 per cent of cases in India. Most of the patients undergo an agonising phase resulting into untimely deaths and sufferings in the age group of 30 to 50 years, which is the prime time for any individual," NOTE added.
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