World No Tobacco Day: Tobacco smoking in public places on decline in J&K, says Secretary H&ME

World No Tobacco Day: Tobacco smoking in public places on decline in J&K, says Secretary H&ME

‘Leading personalities being roped in to help in campaign to educate people about ill effects of tobacco’

Tobacco smoking at Public places in Jammu and Kashmir is on decline even as leading personalities of J&K are being roped in to help in campaigns to educate people about ill effects of tobacco smoking, Secretary Health and Medical Education Bhupinder Kumar said on Wednesday.

Talking to reporters at the side-lines of an event regarding "World No Tobacco Day" at Dental college Srinagar, Kumar said that this day is being observed to educate people about the ill effects of tobacco consumption and how to work jointly to decline the percentage of tobacco smoking and smokeless consumption", he said.

“Every year this campaign is being run and laws are in place due to which tobacco smoking in open is on decline in J&K,” he said, adding, “Tobacco continues to remain a risk factor for deadly diseases like cancer and there is need to work jointly to fight this menace”.

“We have started a campaign in this regard and leading personalities like Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Dr Sushil Razdan, Parvaiz Rasool are being roped in as brand ambassadors to be part of campaign of educating people about ill effects of tobacco so as to decrease its percentage and keep young generation away from it so as to develop a healthy society,” he added.

He said that due to government efforts smoking in public places and women folk is on decline in J&K.

“All arrangements are being made to provide better facilities to Yatris,” Kumar said.

Around 3000 vaccines in the health department have been already being referred to concerned agencies and among them around 2000 have been filled and it is a continuous process and all vaccines will be filled,” Health and Medical Education Secretary Said.

Doctors who spoke during the event said that smoking is a gateway of drug abuse as almost all drug abusers start from smoking and then he is lured for drugs easily.

They said that 50 percent families get affected by second hand smoking, that is smoke that comes from the burning of a tobacco product and smoke that is exhaled by smokers and more importantly third hand smoking is the main concern which means smoking is residual nicotine and other chemicals left on indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke.

“People are exposed to these chemicals by touching contaminated surfaces or breathing in the off-gassing from these surfaces,” they said, adding that “Cigarette contain around 4,000 chemicals which include 200 are hazardous and around 60 cause cancers and smoking is known for causing multi organ cancers.”

They said that parents and teachers have to play a role in this regard to keep children away from smoking. “Taking of e-cigarettes is more hazardous and unregulated sale of imported cigarettes is there without labelling and branding with no hazardous symbols and signs,” they said.

“Multi-pronged strategy is required to reduce cigarette consumption and its ill effects,” they added. Meanwhile, MD NHM Ayushi Sudan on the occasion appreciated the health department for taking such initiatives and she was impressed with the idea of naming brand ambassadors as according to her more and more people need to be involved to carry forward the message of ill effects of tobacco consumption.

She said that the most important part of tobacco control is awareness and there is need to educate more and more people about its harmful effects and there is need to work in tandem to reduce the prevalence of tobacco consumption.

On the occasion Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary and Parvaiz Rasool who were present on the occasion and Dr Razdan in video message vowed to fight for tobacco control measures in J&K and hoped that their involvement will help in reduction in the number of tobacco users in J&K. They appealed people to quit smoking as tobacco is cause of many cancers

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