ICYMI, Pierce Brosnan’s latest advertisement for Pan Bahar, drew a lot of eyeballs, recently. It almost broke the internet, with social media going bonkers about Bond chewing Pan Bahar. It was also a matter of shock to many. Brosnan, who’s known for promoting aspects related to the well-being of people, was promoting a substance as harmful as flavoured tobacco.
Among them, is Doctor Pankaj Chaturvedi. DNA carries an open letter by Dr Chaturvedi to Brosnan, in which he has given point upon point about how the actor, endorsing a product that’s been deemed addictive and carcinogenic by WHO, will now be consumed by many, overlooking the warnings that the pack and the ads carry. Chaturvedi, who works with Tata Memorial Hospital blatantly expresses his shock at this irresponsible behaviour.
He points out that the product has gained popularity with the youth because of its “cheapness, packaging, ease of access, and shrewd marketing etc”. In fact, pregnant women in South East Asia continue to chew betel nut even when pregnant. He made a brilliant 10 point letter, pointing out everything that’s wrong with a man like him promoting such a firm. He even pointed out the adverse effects it can lead to. He wrote,
Its consumption leads to submucous fibrosis, a condition where a child has burning sensation and difficulty to open mouth. Many of them turn cancerous after 5 to 7 years of hellish life.
He even pointed out how the warnings that are to be issued by Pan Bahar, warning the users of its adverse effects, was tiny and not something that could be easily seen or read. He says the product contains substances that promote addiction.
The surgeon, who is an anti-tobacco crusader, expresses utter shock that Brosnan, who lost his first wife and daughter to cancer, chose to endorse this cancer-causing substance that kills nearly one million Indians every day. In an ongoing struggle for its ban and prevention, WHO submitted a voluminous report about its harmful effects on the consumer. The doctor questions why someone as credible as Brosnan would promote something so dangerous.
The good doctor also wrote,
Sir, you have witnessed the trauma of cancer very closely in your own family. Let me quote you– ‘When your partner gets cancer, then life changes. Your timetable and reference for your normal routines and the way you view life, all these change. Because you’re dealing with death. You’re dealing with the possibility of death and dying.’
The letter ended with how he hopes that people influential as him would help in reducing the consumption of such substances, and how he can come in handy doing it. Let’s hope the good cause is noted.
The ad has been banned from national and satellite television in India, after getting majorly trolled.