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Posted at: May 31, 2017, 1:43 AM; last updated: May 31, 2017, 1:43 AM (IST)WORLD NO TOBACCO DAY TODAY

3,560 challans in 5 tobacco-free districts in two months

Avneet Kaur

Jalandhar, May 30

Even as five districts of Punjab, including Jalandhar, have been declared as total Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) compliant on the basis of a study by School of Public Health PGI, Chandigarh, the same does not support the challans being issued.

As per a report prepared by the Health Department, as many as 3,560 challans have been issued in the state in just two months (January and February 2017) in the five compliant districts, including Ropar, Jalandhar, Gurdaspur, Patiala and Sangrur. There is no let-up in the figures as compared to 2016 wherein 25,766 challans haD been issued in the calendar year.

Apropos OF THE National Family Health Survey 2016, Punjab has slowed down in the rate of consumption. “People of Punjab are now aware and are not indulging much in tobacco and smoking,” claimed Dr Harjot, Assistant Commissioner Food, counter-claiming that the number of challans had fallen in contrast to the previous year.

But Surinder Saini, who runs an NGO, said, “Despite implementation of the strict law and orders regarding the consumption of tobacco and various orders signed by the Deputy Commissioner of Jalandhar, it is now that the kiosks adjacent to Mandi Fentonganj Government School have been finally removed. The state has failed to control the tobacco menace as free flow of tobacco consumption even around educational institutions. Even still some miscreants who gather in day time near the kiosks of Mandi Fentonganj and enjoy consuming gutka and other intoxicant products with full ease.

“Young generation in the city, school and college-going students are still easily getting exposed to tobacco, cigarettes, liquor and other intoxicants with smooth access to the nearby kiosks that are operating within 200 yards of educational Institution. Until these kiosks are shut off, World No Tobacco day cannot be observed,” renders Surinder Saini.

Report of State Tobacco Control Cell

According to State Tobacco Control Cell Punjab, smoking causes more than one in 10 deaths worldwide (equivalent to 6.4 million deaths), with 50 per cent of these occurring in just four countries – China, India, USA and Russia. India is among the top countries together accounting for almost two-thirds of the world’s smokers (63.6 per cent) in 2015, a presentation prepared by the district health department shows. 

The report also reads, “One in every four men in the world is a daily smoker and nearly 8 lakh Indians die from tobacco use every year, which is more than those killed by AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined”. 

Tobacco’s injurious effects

Tobacco and smoking are very injurious to health and can kill you even, the reason behind various health diseases like lung cancer, (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease, stroke, asthma and even reproductive effects in women prevail due to the consumption of tobacco. 

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