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Health education workshop marks No Tobacco Day
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 31
A health education workshop was organised at the Hero DMC Heart Institute here to mark No Tobacco Day today.

The need for creating awareness, especially among the youth, about the harmful effects of tobacco products, was underlined during the workshop.

Dr Shalendra Kumbkarni said tobacco products in any form were injurious to health.

He expressed concern over the increasing addiction to tobacco among the youth, particularly in rural areas.

He said there was a need to inculcate moral values among the youth so that they could say no to drugs.

According to him, the estimated population of tobacco users in India was 182 million, out of which 40 per cent smoked beedis, 20 per cent smoked cigarettes and the rest chewed tobacco.

Dr Jagdeep Whig said nicotine replacement therapy and drugs which could help in quitting tobacco were available in India, but the onus was on the will power of users.

He said it was disturbing that a large number of women were increasingly becoming addicted to tobacco.

He asserted that passive smoking was more harmful and children of parents who smoked had low birth weight are were more likely to have respiratory infections.

Dr Kumbkarni said an anti-smoking clinic was being run at the institute and 200 patients had been enrolled, out of which 80 had given up smoking.

In an advisory, Dr Pradeep Kapoor called for a ban on smoking in public.

He observed that as per a report of the World Health Organisation, nearly one-third of the world population used tobacco and 35 lakh persons died every year due to diseases caused by tobacco.



Smokers least bothered
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 31
Ignorant of the observance of World No Tobacco Day and appeals and warnings made by the civil administration and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare about the hazards of smoking, smokers continued playing with their lives as usual. While some smokers justified their action by arguing that the government should not allow manufacturing and sale of cigarettes in case these were injurious to life, others claimed that it was not possible for a smoker to leave the habit. Majority of the smokers did not bother about the consequences of smoking at public places.

Satar Mohamad, a labourer, confirmed he had been purchasing cigarettes and biris from kiosks situated on the main gate of Government Senior School situated near a mini power plant on Abohar canal in Ludhiana district. “Nobody raised any objection to my purchasing and smoking cigarettes while sitting under this tree facing the main gate of the school that had been providing shelter to all passerby,“ boasted Satar, adding that he, like many others, used to purchase tobacco products from one of the kiosks situated here.

Owner of the kiosk on the other hand, maintained that he had been prohibited from displaying tobacco products after a picture was published in Ludhiana Tribune. “However, I was not told that selling these products was a punishable offence,“ said the owner.

Meanwhile, most educational institutions of Sangrur and Ludhiana districts have failed to implement the orders of the district administration regarding the provisions of the cigarettes and other tobacco products, (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003.

What to talk of sensitisation of students against smoking and consumption of tobacco products, these institutes did not bother to display notices warning traders against display and sale of these products.

Contrary to the provisions of the Act, most educational institutes have some hidden spot of smoking the banned products.

A quick visit to the area revealed that most educational institutes had at least one sale point where cigarettes or the other tobacco products were being sold openly.

There were some institutes that had a cigarette vendor adjoining the boundary wall of the institutes but no school or college was found displaying the required board.

The DCs of both districts had directed the heads of all educational institutes to ensure that cigarettes and other tobacco products were not being displayed or sold within a 100-yard radius of their institutes.

Though they had asked them to display notice boards on their institutes regarding ban on the sale of these products no such board was seen displayed in any institute of this area. According to the Act, an owner of manager or any person in charge of the affairs of educational institutions should display a board outside the premises stating that the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products in an area within 100 yards of the institute was strictly prohibited and that it was an offence punished with fine up to Rs 200.



Study circle’s concern over excessive use of tobacco
Our Correspondent

Members of the Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle hold a condolence meeting for the loss of human lives due to tobacco use in Ludhiana on Wednesday.
Members of the Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle hold a condolence meeting for the loss of human lives due to tobacco use in Ludhiana on Wednesday. — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, May 31
Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle today held a condolence meet outside the Deputy Commissioner's office at the Mini Secretariat here in memory of 8 lakh Indians, who die every year due to tobacco use. This condolence meet was organised to mark 'World No Tobacco Day'.

Talking to media persons at this occasion, Dr Deepinder Singh, Director, Social and Health Services of the circle, expressed his deep concern over the increased of tobacco use, especially among the youths.

The activists of the study circle submitted a memorandum to the Assistant Commissioner (General), Ms Anupam Kaler, and City SP, Mr Pritam Singh which maintained that law relating to restrictions on sale of tobacco products was being flagrantly flouted. They produced photographic evidence, showing tobacco sale at the shops near schools, colleges and other prohibited sites.

According to Dr Deepinder Singh, the study circle had demanded scrupulous implementation of the act (Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act, 2003). Both the officials, he added, agreed with the demand and assured that immediate necessary action would be taken as provided under the relevant law.

He further said that the study circle had been working for drug abuse prevention for the last three decades. "Presently, we are running three dc-addiction centers for preventing our youth from falling prey to tobacco and this issue is very high on our agenda. We have been taking out marches, organising extension lectures in schools and colleges to make the youth aware of the dangers posed by tobacco."



DMCH doctor attends meet on gastrointestinal diseases
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 31
Dr Rajoo Singh Chhina, Professor and Head, Department of Gastroenterology, at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital here recently attended the ‘digestive diseases week” held in Los Angles, USA, from May 21 to May 25. This international meet on gastrointestinal and liver diseases was attended by over 16,000 GI practitioners, surgeons and associates from all over the world.

The theme of the conference was ‘turning science into medicine’. Various new modalities that were discussed at the august gathering included latest endoscopic techniques, liver transplantation, ulcerative colitis, ulcer disease, Hepatitis-B and C, along with liver cancer treatment and related new developments. The latest technique of capsule endoscopy, where a small capsule was ingested by the patient and provided picture of the intestine, was discussed in detail and proactive course held on this procedure.

During the conference, Dr Chhina was elected a member of the American College of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, which was a rare honour for the gastroenterologists of the region.

Giving more information on his return to the city, Dr Chhina disclosed that he also attended a course on ‘double balloon endoscopy’. During the interactive sessions, he acquainted himself with ‘narrow banding imaging’, a new technological marvel, which helped differentiate the early cancers from normal tissues.

He said the DMCH had added to its instruments a state-of-the-art double balloon endoscope, which was probably the first of its kind in India. The new facility was expected to provide a big breakthrough in the early diagnosis of cancers.

Dr Nageshwar Reddy, Director, Asia Institute of Gastroenterology, Hyderabad, Dr Rakesh Tandon, former head, Department of Gastroenterology, AIIMS, New Delhi, and Dr Ajay Kumar, Senior Consultant, Apollo Hospital, Delhi, were the other distinguished gastroenterologists present at the international conference.

Later, Dr Chhina also participated in a meeting of the American Gastroenterologists of Indian origin in which Dr Ram Chuttani and Dr Maroop Bhutani were elected as the office-bearers to lead the organisation.


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