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May 31, 2019 |

No Tobacco Day

On Thursday and on the occasion of ‘World No Tobacco Day’, Governor Satya Pal Malik in a message to the people of the state stressed on negative impact of tobacco. The governor said that a large number of people die every year due to smoking related diseases, an established fact across the world. The governor in his message asserted that there is need of awareness programmes besides the enforcement of related laws on consumption of tobacco products. As a reminder, J&K government was among the first in the region (in 2016) to ban sale of loose cigarettes and bidis with due consideration to the deteriorating public health revealed by the data on smokers. Three years down the line, despite the ban on sale of loose cigarettes, the ban is ineffective throughout the state. On ‘World No Tobacco Day’ a lot of efforts go into discouraging the use of tobacco products and dissuading the smokers from their use. Diseases caused by smoking and tobacco use have been rampant, J&K state being no exception. Not only does it affect the public health system but also the financials of families with heavy cost incurred on treatment of diseases including cancers. From medical fraternity to students, every one speaks and writes on the issue on the eve of No Tobacco Day. For the rest of the year, however, we only get to hear about occasional raids by the anti-tobacco and drug squads and realization of fine from the defaulters found smoking in public places. It is rare. Even if some campaigns are started, they soon run out of steam. The significance of public awareness functions or campaigns cannot be undermined. Even the debates organized at the school or college level are commendable as the youth remain most susceptible to cigarette smoking. However, mere awareness does not serve purpose. Implementation of related law become imperative if the menace is to be eradicated. In J&K it is of import as there is high concentration of smokers, which seems as uncontrollable as of now. However, the government has been unable to make any major headway in enforcing bans effectively as is evident from the increase in consumption of tobacco products including cigarettes over the years. Authorities also set a date in the past to make Srinagar city smoke-free. Several years have passed but all in vain. There is a need for more concerted efforts towards effective implementation of the provisions of Cigarettes & Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement & Regulation of Trade & Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act. Sustainability of campaigns is also an issue in the state. Anti-tobacco drives have been no different. The concerned agencies need to gear up and launch a sustained programme to encourage abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption across the state.

 

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May 31, 2019 |

No Tobacco Day

              

On Thursday and on the occasion of ‘World No Tobacco Day’, Governor Satya Pal Malik in a message to the people of the state stressed on negative impact of tobacco. The governor said that a large number of people die every year due to smoking related diseases, an established fact across the world. The governor in his message asserted that there is need of awareness programmes besides the enforcement of related laws on consumption of tobacco products. As a reminder, J&K government was among the first in the region (in 2016) to ban sale of loose cigarettes and bidis with due consideration to the deteriorating public health revealed by the data on smokers. Three years down the line, despite the ban on sale of loose cigarettes, the ban is ineffective throughout the state. On ‘World No Tobacco Day’ a lot of efforts go into discouraging the use of tobacco products and dissuading the smokers from their use. Diseases caused by smoking and tobacco use have been rampant, J&K state being no exception. Not only does it affect the public health system but also the financials of families with heavy cost incurred on treatment of diseases including cancers. From medical fraternity to students, every one speaks and writes on the issue on the eve of No Tobacco Day. For the rest of the year, however, we only get to hear about occasional raids by the anti-tobacco and drug squads and realization of fine from the defaulters found smoking in public places. It is rare. Even if some campaigns are started, they soon run out of steam. The significance of public awareness functions or campaigns cannot be undermined. Even the debates organized at the school or college level are commendable as the youth remain most susceptible to cigarette smoking. However, mere awareness does not serve purpose. Implementation of related law become imperative if the menace is to be eradicated. In J&K it is of import as there is high concentration of smokers, which seems as uncontrollable as of now. However, the government has been unable to make any major headway in enforcing bans effectively as is evident from the increase in consumption of tobacco products including cigarettes over the years. Authorities also set a date in the past to make Srinagar city smoke-free. Several years have passed but all in vain. There is a need for more concerted efforts towards effective implementation of the provisions of Cigarettes & Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement & Regulation of Trade & Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act. Sustainability of campaigns is also an issue in the state. Anti-tobacco drives have been no different. The concerned agencies need to gear up and launch a sustained programme to encourage abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption across the state.

 

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