Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ban the advertisements that promote the use of mobile phones among kids

Mobile Service Providers in India are up to a new gimmick: Promoting the use of mobile phones among tiny tots! A father, so busy with his 'profession' with no time for his little daughter, instructs her over the mobile phone to look at the sky and count the stars! And another tracks his father returning late at night! Yes, in the all out war of cell phone operators to increase their subscriber base, the latest target are the kids. No matter their tender skulls and brains are highly vulnerable to the cell phone radiation.

Six of us, medical professionals from Mangalooru, have faxed a memorandum to Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss, the Hon'ble Minister of Health and Family Welfare, urging him to ban such ads promoting the use of mobile phones among children.

Here is the full text of our memorandum:

Drs. B. Srinivas Kakkilaya, Shantharam Baliga, Chakrapani, G.K. Hebbar, Rajesh Shetty, Raghuveer,
Mangalore, Karnataka

Dear Sir,

Sub: Advertisements promoting the use of mobile phones among children – request for prohibition reg.

We are writing this with deep concern regarding the new advertisements being telecast on prime time television that appear to promote the use of mobile phones by kids. One such advertisement shows a father looking at the sky and instructing her 3-4 year old kid to draw pictures of the constellations. Many available reports indicate that use of cell phones by kids may not be safe and should therefore be discouraged. We are providing the links here below to some of these papers for your kind perusal.

You have been at the forefront of the fight against many such marketing gimmicks that are harmful to public health. We therefore request you to kindly initiate immediate measures to ban such advertisements/promotional activities that encourage the use of mobile phones by our young children.

Thanking you, Yours sincerely,

Mangalore, Mar 26, 2008

Dr. B. Shantharam Baliga, Prof. of Paediatrics, Kasturba Med. College, Mangalore
Dr. Chakrapani, Prof. of Medicine, Kasturba Med. College, Mangalore
Dr. B.Srinivas Kakkilaya, Consultant Physician, Light House Hill Road, Mangalore
Dr. Rajesh Shetty, Prof. of Neurology, AJ Inst. Of Med. Scs., Mangalore
Dr. G.K. Hebbar, Consultant ENT surgeon, Sanjeevini, Falnir,Mangalore
Dr. Raghuveer, Asso. Prof. of Paediatrics, Kasturba Med. College, Mangalore

If you want to join us, send your request to the Hon'ble minister at

See Article

For Whom The Bells Toll: Another report links brain tumours to mobile phones
By Gauri Kamath - Businessworld 22-28 April 2008.


1. Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones: Report of the Group (The Stewart Report) - Mobile Phones and Health Available at
2. Cherry N. Cell phone radiation poses a serious biological and health risk Available at
3. Maisch D. Children and Cell Phones: Is there a health risk? The case for extra precautions. Available at
4. Weinbergera Z, Richter ED. Cellular telephones and effects on the brain: The head as an antenna and brain tissue as a radio receiver. Medical Hypotheses. 2002;59(6):703-705 5. Cell phones may present health risks for kids: Scientists say parents should think twice before buying them. Available at
6. Kids mobile phone ads 'irresponsible' Available at

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