World No Tobacco Day was observed here on Tuesday with a host of programmes that were intended to create awareness on the adverse effects of tobacco usage.

The observance commenced with a human chain that was formed near Gandhi Square. Revenue Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan participated in the human chain that expressed solidarity in striving to campaign against tobacco. A signature campaign was also conducted as part of the programme.

Later, Mr. Radhakrishnan inaugurated a public meeting organised jointly by the district administration, the Kottayam municipality, the district medical office, the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and social organisations.

In his inaugural address, Mr. Radhakrishnan stressed the harmful consequences of smoking tobacco. Measures must be implemented to enforce the High Court ban on smoking in public places and governmental institutions, he said.

He also said that importance should be given to discouraging students against smoking.

After launching the hand-outs on the Tobacco Control Law, Jose K. Mani, M.P., said that an increasing number of youths are falling prey to smoking. At later stages, such lifestyle habits could further expose them to consumption of harmful drugs.

These social threats should be countered by spreading awareness. The State government and the local bodies should also play crucial roles in wiping out the looming threat of tobacco use, he said.

District Collector Mini Antony, in her keynote address, said similar campaigns should be held to sensitise the public on the adverse effects caused by tobacco use.

Kerala Voluntary Health Services (KVHS) secretary Rose Vypana administered the ‘No Tobacco' pledge on the occasion.

District Superintendent of Police A. Akbar, District Medical Officer Aysha Bhai, and District Panchayat President Radha V. Nair spoke.

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