Saturday 24 March 2018
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Kangra gets the title of ‘Smoke Free’ district

CMO Kangra Dr DS Gurung informed that 60% of lung cancer is due to smoking. He was speaking at the workshop on Tobacco control at DRDA Hall Dharamshala. He cautioned that the Tobacco affects every organ of the body- and major complications include stroke, heart disease, bronchitis, gastritis, urinary bladder Cancer, renal failure, Peripheral vascular disease. The act aims to protect vulnerable teenagers and non-smokers from harmful effects of passive smoking.

Dr JS Rana, Technical Advisor International Union Against Tobacco and Lung Disease, stated that his organization provides technical support to tobacco control. Tobacco kills 54 lakh persons globally, of which 11 lakh in India, 3000 persons every day. Tobacco will eventually kill half user- 28 crores current users in India, 23 crores of whom are daily users. Dr Rana shared good practice of Tamil Nadu where schools submit a memorandum of compliance with various items, including Sec 6 B of COTPA, Sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of the educational institution is prohibited.

There are 4000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, of which more than 60 are known to cause cancer. Children are highly vulnerable to effects of Passive smoking. Chewable tobacco is highly harmful- and contains over 25 cancer causing chemicals.

“Smoke free” means no smoking in indoor public places (all places to which public has access). Standard signage should be displayed of size 2 x 1 foot. Chandigarh was the first smoke free city in India in July 2007. All districts HQ in HP were declared smoke free last year. Kangra becomes 50th district to be declared smoke free. India ratified the global treaty on tobacco control “Framework Convention on Tobacco Control” in 2004. Tobacco control Programme was started in 2008 as pilot in 42 /640 district. Cigarette and other Tobacco Products Act [COTPA] was enacted in 2003. Section 4 prohibits smoking in public places. Section 5 prohibits advertisements, promotion and sponsorships – this is the theme of this year’s campaign.

Dr Narender Sharma Executive Director, HP Volunatry Health Association shared about Smoke free project & presented the Compliance survey conducted by Population research Centre.–No evidence of smoking in 90%, no evidence of recent smoking in 86%, no evidence of bidi cigarette butt in 86%, No smoking singage were present in 54%. Average compliance was 80%, Urban 79%, Rural 81%. – The major challenge to ultimate target of tobacco free status is vested interests.

Rohan Chand Thakur ADC who presided over the meet directed the education department that compliance rate should be increased and signages be ensured. Hotel Association and HPTDC, restaurant, all heads of offices, DFSC be directed to increase compliance on signages. Food supply department was directed to direct Civil supply inspector to create awareness along with challans. Bilaspur had achieved 92% compliance. He asked all that we should further improve and tell field staff to be proactive in this field.

Govt. health facilities have signages, but Pvt. health providers compliance need to be increased. In clinical Establishment and hospital empanelment, compliance with COTPA will be added. told CMO Kangra.

Ramesh Mastana, Director NGO Uthaan and chldline, told that we need to make it a mass movement, to make it successful and sustainable. PR Ramesh HPVHA stated that in lieu of 32 crore revenue of tobacco, there is 96 crore loss due to tobacco. Tobacco leaf bidi industry was being launched in Hamirpur, which was stopped due to advocacy and pressure.

Dr. Jitendra Saxena Medical Officer of Health presented the status of Kangra. He appealed to all to avoid indoor smoking in home for the health of the family. He deliberated on benefits of quitting.

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