It’s not cheap

Big money spawns tall ideas. It is here in Nepal that the cigarette and alcohol industries strike the proverbial gold mine. Those in authority can only feel the revenue generated by the industries, and unaffected by the various plights that the habituated go through because of smoking or drinking. It is for nothing that our venerable finance and home ministers had designed measures to stop both the menace. As is the Nepali context, the measures just failed

to click sustainability. No wonder, the production, sales and distribution do not seem to have dropped even a bit. That is cheering news for the entrepreneurs but it should not be for the administration that ought to be more than concerned with the welfare of the public in mind.

If that is not all, like the past failed attempts, Nepal Cancer Relief Society (NCRS) has opened up its campaign plan to make Nepal a tobacco-free country by 2020. The goal is noble because the NCRS is expected to know the suffering and agony of the cancer afflicted more than anyone else barring the cancer victims. For this, it is expecting the government and others to make the right response like banning smoking in public places. The crucial question is how it is achieved. Will all cigarette and alcohol ads come under the axe? Or the production itself? If the past is any guide, success is likely to prove elusive.