Delhi & District Cricket Association has been warned for promoting tobacco and pan masala brands during the ongoing third Test between India and Sri Lanka.
The Delhi State Tobacco Control Cell has issued a show cause notice to the DDCA and the and tobacco companies for promoting tobacco and pan masala brands in violation of Section 5 of the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COPTA), 2003.
“You are strictly instructed to immediately stop the brand promotion of tobaccos and pan masalas on cricket grounds and also clarify your position and show cause why appropriate punitive action should not be initiated against the directors/office bearers of the DDCA as per provisions under Sections 5 and 22 of the COTPA, 2003,” the official notice has stated.
Even after the notice has been served, the brands objected to by the DSTCC were on display during the fourth day’s action on Tuesday. Brands like Shikhar, Vimal, Pan Parag and Pan Bahar have been occupying prime in-stadia advertisement space at the Kotla ground for the third and final Test between the hosts and the Islanders.
The in-stadia advertisement at the Kotla ground is sold by sports marketing and media agency 21st Century Media. The company owner Lokesh Sharma declined to comment saying that “this (notice served upon the DDCA or his clients) is not in his knowledge”.
S. K. Arora, Additional Director, Health, Delhi government, said, “Advertisement/promotion of tobacco/pan masala at a cricket ground is a violation under Section 5 of COTPA and as per Section 22 of COTPA, this is a punishable offence. Even if these pan masalas don’t contain tobacco or nicotine, they contain areca nut (supari) and there is a lot of scientific evidence that proves supari causes cancer. Cricketers too come under the category of celebrity and are role models for the younger generation, and hence cannot promote tobacco and pan masalas which lead to disease, disability and death.”