Tribune News Service
Patiala, May 2
A month-long “World No Tobacco Day” campaign was launched by Health Minister Brahm Mohindra from Mata Kaushalya Hospital here today by flagging off the publicity van especially prepared for this purpose.
This van will visit major towns of all districts of Punjab. It will create awareness among people, especially youth, about the ill-effects of tobacco through posters, audio and video clips.
Brahm Mohindra said more than 300 panchayats had declared their villages as tobacco-free and already 22 districts had been declared as tobacco-free.
The Health Minister said: “In India, 3,500 people die every day because of tobacco consumption. Tobacco is responsible for approximately 90 per cent of oral cancers and tobacco is the most important preventable risk factor for all non-communicable diseases, including cancer, hypertension, heart diseases, lung diseases and stroke”.
Brahm Mohindra said to make this “tobacco-free Punjab” campaign successful, instructions had already been given to all deputy commissioners and civil surgeons to prepare plans to conduct awareness and enforcement drives to create awareness and to challan the violators of the Anti-Tobacco Laws. Instructions had been issued by the Director General of School Education to conduct racing and painting competitions in schools and to give no-tobacco pledge to students and teachers.
Meanwhile, Dr HS Bali, Director, Health Services, Punjab, said: “Punjab received the WHO World No Tobacco Day Award because of consistent efforts. All government buildings in Punjab have also been declared tobacco-free. Instructions have been issued to all media houses and housing societies to declare their offices/buildings tobacco-free to provide safe environment to the employees and the residents”.
HS Bali said: “Counselling services are being provided to those who want to quit tobacco usage. Due to these efforts, now Punjab has the lowest prevalence of tobacco use in the country according to the National Family Health Survey-4 data (2015-16)”.
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