Staff Reporter

CHENNAI: Mayor M. Subramanian on Saturday urged more city colleges to join the list of certified tobacco-free institutions.

Speaking at a function to distribute ‘tobacco-free institution’ certificates to 33 schools and colleges, he said efforts would be taken to include the 313 educational institutions of the Corporation in the list.

The function was organised as part of Department of Social Work of D.G. Vaishnav College’s ‘LIVELABS –PRERNA -08’ initiative, under which four students of the college – S. Mahalakshmi, M. Jayesh, Arghya Mandal and M. Dayasagar – visited about 60 city institutions and succeeded in making 33 of them tobacco-free zones.

Director of Public Health P. Padmanabhan said the city of New York had agreed to provide funds for the ‘Tobacco Free Chennai’ initiative. He said IT companies and airports must not provide separate smokers’ corners and urged the Corporation to start counselling centres for those who wanted to quit smoking.

Director of Cancer Institute T. Rajkumar said this year it was estimated that around 10 lakh people in India would be affected by cancer of which 4.5 lakh would be tobacco-related cases. Tobacco Control Officer of Cancer Institute E. Vidhubala urged the State government to ensure that shopkeepers near certified educational institutions, who have stopped selling tobacco products, continued to do so.

College Principal S. Narasimhan and M. Balasubramanian, Director (medical sciences), Lifeline Hospitals spoke.