Ensure tobacco products are not sold to minors, police chief urged

Whether it was to raise taxes on tobacco or to crack down on public smokers, this year’s World No Tobacco Day celebrated in the city on May 31, came with the emphatic message to stop tobacco consumption.

Among those leading the charge was the district unit of Indian Dental Association and Tobacco Intervention Initiative (TII) Center, A.J Institute of Dental Sciences, which started a week-long signature campaign in medical and dental colleges of the city. With the theme of the day this year being ‘Raise taxes on tobacco’, the organisation hoped to collect enough signatures to be sent to the Chief Minister.

Similarly, the organisation said a memorandum was submitted to the City Police Commissioner asking for a stricter reinforcement of COTPA (Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act), in particular, Section 6, that prohibits the sale of tobacco products to minors and around educational institutions.

To reach out to a larger audience, the IDA also conducted a programme on ‘Tobacco and health’ for drivers, staff and officials of Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation. It also organised a rally of students of Yenepoya University from the campus in Kuthar, and ran programmes on local television channels on ‘Tobacco cessation and ill effects of tobacco’.

‘Goodbye tobacco’

At a programme organised by the Department of Health and Family Welfare at Yenepoya University, N.S. Patil, Principal Civil Judge Senior Division and Member Secretary of the district legal services authority, said it was a dangerous signs that smokers were a common sight in the city.

He believed nine lakh people who consume tobacco in any form in the country were diagnosed with cancer, lung diseases, kidney failure and other diseases annually. He emphasised that society gets healthier when individuals say “goodbye” to tobacco.

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