Under the leadership of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, Punjab Government has initiated a crusade to eradicate tobacco use to save children and youth across the State.Brahm Mohindra, Health & Family Welfare Minister said that Health Department has been passionately pursuing the agenda to bring down tobacco consumption in Punjab. He said that 10 Tobacco Cessation centers have been opened in the districts of Punjab from 1st December 2017. He said that free tobacco cessation services are being provided to the patients who want to quit the Tobacco use.
Ms. Anjali Bhawra, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare said that District Tobacco Control Cell and Tobacco Cessation centers have been set up in districts Amritsar, Bathinda, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Ludhiana, Patiala, SAS Nagar, Sangrur and Sri Muktsar Sahib. This step would go a long way in saving our future generations from the menace of Tobacco. She further added that all the districts of Punjab have been declared as 'Tobacco Smoke Free' (TSF) on the basis of compliance study by PGIMER.Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration, Sh. Varun Roojam said that strict action will be initiated against those selling Flavored/Scented tobacco.
As Punjab has banned the sale and distribution of Flavored/scented chewable tobacco in the state. He said that vendors, who were indulged in the sale of e-cigarettes and ‘Hookah Bars’ have also been on the radar of health authorities.Dr Rajiv Bhalla, Director Health Services, Punjab said that in India 3500 people and in Punjab 80 people die every day because of tobacco consumption and tobacco is responsible for approximately 90% of oral cancers and that tobacco is the most important preventable risk factor for all non-communicable diseases including cancer, hypertension, heart diseases, Lung diseases and stroke etc. He said that in these centers Free Tobacco cessation services like counseling and medications are being provided to the tobacco users. He added that more than 395 village panchayats have declared their villages as Tobacco free.Dr Areet Kaur, SPO, NTCP said that Punjab is nationally and internationally known for its good practices in tobacco control. With reduction in prevalence of Tobacco in males by 14.6% as per NFHS – 4 data, we are now aiming to reduce prevalence of tobacco use further.