Buoyed by the nationwide enforcement of the ban on smoking, Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss has geared up to launch a campaign against alcohol by bringing in a policy to regulate its sale in the country.
"We need a strong policy to prevent the young generation from getting addicted to alcohol. We have initiated talks with various agencies to come out with a national-level policy to regulate the sales of alcohol in the country and it will be made into an Act after considerable deliberation," Ramadoss told reporters on the sidelines of a seminar on "Alcohol Control Policy" in Chennai on Saturday.
Ramadoss said there had been tremendous response to the smoking ban in Kerala, Maharashtra and West Bengal.
"We have asked the state governments to use the fine amount collected either for anti-tobacco activities or provide it to treasury bench. Soon a vigorous advertisement campaign will be launched to highlight the ill effects of tobacco consumption," he said.
On his proposal to introduce a blanket ban on tobacco products in the country, he said a decision could be taken only after providing alternative employment to thousands of beedi workers and others employed in tobacco industry.
"A committee, comprising Union Labour Minister Oscar Fernandez, has been set up to evolve an alternative employment for these workers. The Centre is also planning to introduce a scheme to help the tobacco growers with alternative crops, mainly medicinal plants," he said.