Gurugram- If the District Administration along with Police and Education department gets rigid enforcement of The Cigarettes & Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) and JJ Act then control on sale and consumption of tobacco is possible. The role of media is very important in this work.
This was the outcome of the media workshop organized on Monday under ‘Tobacco Free Haryana’ campaign in a city hotel on behalf of Sambandh Health Foundation (SHF), Tata Trusts, Fortis Foundation and Voice of Tobacco Victims (VoTV). Police has done continuous enforcement in Gurugram in COTPA. Infact, the first case of JJ Act in Haryana was booked in Gurugram.
VoTV state patron and cancer expert from Manipal Hospital, Dr Vedant Kabra said children can be saved from this addiction with prevention strategies. Dr Kabra said Rs 1,04,500 crore is spent annually in India to treat diseases caused by tobacco.
Speaking about ill-effects, he said tobacco impacts every organ of a human body. Tobacco and smoking causes physical damages along with also affect the environment and land adversely. No other crop or plants can be grown on the land where tobacco farming is done.
SHF trustee Sanjay Seth on Monday explained in detail about ‘EMPOWER’ and COTPA 2003. He said if it is made to effectively abide by the JJ Act and COTPA then the number of tobacco users can be reduced. For this, Police, Administration, Education and Health departments have to play their responsibility with complete seriousness.
Ashima Sarin, Director, VoTV, SHF talked about the prevention strategy which is Pledge for Life campaign, which aims at saving children from tobacco. She said every year around 13.5 lakh people die due to tobacco related diseases in India; 26.7 crore people in our country consume tobacco, which is really a matter of concern.
She expressed her concern that everyday around 5500 children start consuming tobacco in some form, whereas only 3% are able to quit. So Pledge for Life campaign is the best prevention strategy. A patient who became cancer victim due to consumption of tobacco shared his suffering in the program.
Haryana has 47 lakh tobacco users, 28000 die every year
SHF’s Dr Somil Rastogi said according to Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) 2016-17, in Haryana state 23.6% of the population that is around 46.84 lakh people (aged 15+) consume tobacco in some form. Of these 39 lakh people (19.7%) smoke.
In Haryana state, 15.5% people smoke Bidi, 7.6% smoke hookah and 2.6% smoke cigarette and tobacco users in age of 15 to 17 years have increased by 4%. Smoking also adversely affects the non-smokers. The subject that has to be seriously considered is that of these 10% people are those who do not smoke, but being in contact with smokers, they are get affected and die.
Every year, an estimated 28,000 people die in Haryana state due to various tobacco related diseases including cancer caused by consuming tobacco. Around 116 children start consuming tobacco daily. In India 13.50 lakh people die in the world because of cancer caused due to consuming tobacco, whereas in the world, 6 million people die because of this disease.
‘Pledge for Life’ campaign
Various drivers have been launched throughout the country under ‘Pledge for Life’ campaign to save the children from tobacco addiction. School children through this campaign are informed about the ill-effects of tobacco and administering oath, they are asked to take pledge that they will not consume tobacco in any form in their life.
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Dr Somil Rastogi