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India to set up tobacco testing laboratory

india Updated: Dec 19, 2006 17:46 IST
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India will soon set-up a tobacco testing laboratory that would trace tobacco and nicotine content in all products.

"The lab will do sample testing of all products, not just Indian products, to find tobacco and nicotine content in them," Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss told reporters after attending a round table conference on polio and other public health issues with experts from Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at Atlanta in the US.

"The laboratory will be the biggest in the region and will come up in Ahmedabad. I don't think there would be any such lab in any of our neighbouring country. We have asked for technical support from CDC," said Ramadoss.

He said in Brazil, a similar self-sustaining lab has been operating that conducts test to trace different components in products.

The minister said the initiative is one of the many steps the government has taken under its anti-tobacco drive in the country. "Every year, we get one million new cancer cases. We are concerned about it," he said.

CDC director Julie Louise Gerberding, who is here on a three-day visit on the invitation of the Health Minister, said control on tobacco consumption, is the single most important thing to improve the world's health.