Staff Reporter

Indian Dental Association to launch Tobacco Intervention Initiative Centres across the country

The first phase of the launch begins in Maharashtra

IDA is for ban on tobacco use since its inception

NEW DELHI: The Indian Dental Association is going to launch 5,000 Tobacco Intervention Initiative Centres across the country over the next two years.

Dentists who volunteer to serve at these centres will receive orientation at centres in Delhi and Bangalore. The first phase of the launch began over the weekend with 56 centres being set up across Maharashtra.

IDA has been campaigning for a ban on tobacco use since its inception because tobacco affects oral health in several ways, including causing cancer of the lips and tongue.

Emphasising the consequences of tobacco abuse, IDA president Lt. Gen. (Dr) Paramjit Singh said: “The focus of IDA’s campaign against use of tobacco in all its forms is to secure for the people their right to health and healthy living. We have been fighting the tobacco menace and telling people about what they can do to protect themselves and future generations.”

Association secretary-general Ashok Dhoble said: “This is a landmark initiative from IDA and we hope to reach out to as many people as possible. Maharashtra is just the beginning. We plan to take these centres across the country soon. Sustained campaigns by IDA over the years have contributed to the government banning smoking at all public places since October 2, 2008.”

To further reinforce its commitment to creating a tobacco-free India, IDA also joined hands with the World Health Organisation this year in observing “World No Tobacco Day”. WHO’s campaign this year focuses on “tobacco health warnings” in the hope that visual warnings will help people quit smoking. Effective health warnings, especially those that include pictures, have been able to motivate users to quit and to reduce the appeal of tobacco for those not yet addicted.