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Govt gives a clarion call for mass agitation to address menace of tobacco use


Press Trust of India New Delhi
There is an urgent need for developing a network of points where people can go and seek help to quit tobacco, Dr V K Paul, a member of NITI Ayog said Friday.
Addressing a National Consultation on 'Tobacco and Lung Health', organised by the health ministry to commemorate the World No Tobacco Day, Paul gave a clarion call for a mass agitation.
He said that ending the menace of tobacco use will require behavioral change.
Union health secretary Preeti Sudan highlighted the theme of the World No Tobacco Day 2019 -- the risks associated with tobacco use on people's lung health, from cancer to chronic respiratory disease.
She stated that it is important to build a framework that is long term, effective and based on data and evidence.
"There is a need for community engagement and it's important that people and the families learn how smoking affects the quality of life. She further said that without community engagement we cannot succeed," she stressed adding India has consciously taken up the crusade against tobacco.
The government has now interventions to address heath conditions arising due to tobacco use, she added.
Dr Henk Bekedam, the WHO representative to India, said the World No Tobacco Day presents a unique opportunity for all stakeholders to focus on multi-pronged strategies to combat tobacco use.
"Tobacco control is everybody's responsibility. Governments, communities, families and individuals must join hands to stay united in the fight against tobacco by choosing health and saying no to all traditional and new forms of tobacco," he said.
The Health Ministry also felicitated Department of Medical, Health and Family Welfare, Government of Rajasthan and Professor Raj Kumar, Director of V P Chest Institute, University of Delhi with 'World No Tobacco Day Award for 2019' for their exemplary accomplishments in the area of tobacco control.
At the event, the Health Ministry also released revised guidelines for Tobacco Free Educational Institutions to provide a fresh momentum to implementation of tobacco control initiatives among adolescents and young adults.
A National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) website was also launched. The website will house all the tobacco control related resource material at a single portal. This will cater to the ever growing demand for resource material.
The ministry also released Operational Guidelines for National Tobacco Testing Laboratories. It has commissioned three National Tobacco Testing Laboratories (NTTL) which possess world class facilities to analyse various kinds of tobacco products.
The guidelines provide the operational framework for the NTTL in India.

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First Published: May 31 2019 | 10:05 PM IST

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