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Tezpur MP joins tobacco row

By The Assam Tribune
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TEZPUR/NEW DELHI, April 3 � Amidst a raging controversy over remarks on smoking by a BJP MP, who is a �beedi� baron, another BJP MP Ram Prasad Sarmah today waded into the row, claiming there is no clear proof yet linking cigarette puffing and cancer while wondering whether tobacco contains �herbal medicine�, reports PTI.

�Whether cigarette smoking causes cancer or not, there is no full proof till now,� Ram Prasad Sarmah, BJP MP from Tezpur said in Biswanath Chariali, about 75 km from Tezpur town.

Sarmah, a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Subordinate Legislation which is looking into the rules regarding tobacco sale in the country, said the panel would focus on facts. �It is difficult to prove, whether it (smoking) causes cancer or not. Whether smoking tobacco is cancerous or not or whether it contains any herbal medicine also, it has to be found out. So we have kept it in the committee meeting so that doctors can come and testify as witnesses or provide chemical proof, medical proof that smoking causes cancer,� Sarmah said.

�We are not for or against; we want to look at it impartially without bias, whether smoking cigarettes causes cancer or not,� he added.

Meanwhile, Opposition parties continued to criticise Gupta�s remarks.

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Tezpur MP joins tobacco row

TEZPUR/NEW DELHI, April 3 � Amidst a raging controversy over remarks on smoking by a BJP MP, who is a �beedi� baron, another BJP MP Ram Prasad Sarmah today waded into the row, claiming there is no clear proof yet linking cigarette puffing and cancer while wondering whether tobacco contains �herbal medicine�, reports PTI.

�Whether cigarette smoking causes cancer or not, there is no full proof till now,� Ram Prasad Sarmah, BJP MP from Tezpur said in Biswanath Chariali, about 75 km from Tezpur town.

Sarmah, a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Subordinate Legislation which is looking into the rules regarding tobacco sale in the country, said the panel would focus on facts. �It is difficult to prove, whether it (smoking) causes cancer or not. Whether smoking tobacco is cancerous or not or whether it contains any herbal medicine also, it has to be found out. So we have kept it in the committee meeting so that doctors can come and testify as witnesses or provide chemical proof, medical proof that smoking causes cancer,� Sarmah said.

�We are not for or against; we want to look at it impartially without bias, whether smoking cigarettes causes cancer or not,� he added.

Meanwhile, Opposition parties continued to criticise Gupta�s remarks.