In a welcome response to Delhi government's appeal for non-endorsement of pan masala, actor Sunny Leone has informed that she will not sign any future contracts for endorsement of such products.
According to Health Department officials, Sunny Leone's husband Daniel Weber contacted the Delhi government to inform them that the actor will "cooperate" in the interest of public health.
"I received a call from Daniel Weber and he has promised that in future she will not sign any contract for such kind of advertisements.
"But regarding the present contact they are not sure as they will talk to the company and then inform. I expect that the rest of the Bollywood stars will also come forward and cooperate in public health interest," said S K Arora, Additional Director (Health).
The Delhi government has written to Bollywood actors Ajay Devgan, Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Govinda, Arbaaz Khan along with Sunny Leone, urging them not to endorse pan masala products as they contain areca nuts, a potential cancer causing agent.
The Delhi government has also asked the actors to join its anti-tobacco campaign to save the lives of lakhs of people who die due to oral cancer every year.
"You are the role model for youngsters, they watch you and your lifestyle and habits and try to adopt it. These advertisements attract the vulnerable population, especially, children and females very strategically and are directly and indirectly responsible for the increasing trends of tobacco use among youngsters and females in India.
"I humbly request you to not participate in pan masala or any other similar advertisements which are harming our society especially the younger generations. Rather, I request you to join us in anti-tobacco campaign to save lakhs of preventable deaths," Arora had said in the letter.
According to experts, areca nuts, the main ingredient in pan masala, is in the league of caffeine, tobacco and alcohol when it comes to addictive properties and also leads to a high number of cases of submucous fibrosis, which can easily turn cancerous.
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