Surjit Kumar Jyani, Health Minister Punjab disclosed that, in its endeavour to get rid of tobacco 1st November will be observed as No tobacco day all over Punjab. He said that Chief Minister, Punjab has already issued direction to all the Deputy Commissioners of Punjab in this regard. He said that Punjab Government is committed for better health of the people of state. Health Minister stated that the concerted efforts of Punjab government got due recognition with WHO World No Tobacco Day award. He said that Good practices of Punjab Govt. in Tobacco/Nicotine control were highly appreciated and are now being followed in some other states too.Vini Mahajan, Principal Secretary, Health said that the aim of this campaign is to reduce prevalence of Tobacco/Nicotine use in Punjab in order to reduce prevalence of Non Communicable diseases and to enhance public awareness about preventing various Non-Communicable diseases e.g. Cancer and Cardiovascular diseases by pledging not to use Tobacco/Nicotine/Scented/processed/flavoured chewable tobacco products. She further disclosed that sale of loose cigarettes/tobacco & E-Cigarettes are completely banned in Punjab. Strict action under law would be taken against the shopkeepers who violate various provisions of COTPA and FSSAI. She added that that License of a commercial establishment can be cancelled in case of violation of Tobacco Control Act as per latest notification of Punjab Govt. She also told that any commercial establishment having license under Food Safety and Standards Act are not allowed to sell Tobacco Products and the officials of Excise department have been requested to keep a periodic check sale of illicit/contraband tobacco products. She appealed to common people to help Government in this endeavour.
Sh. Hussan Lal, Commissioner Food & Drug Administration cum Secretary Health said that all the Food Safety Officers &Drug Inspectors have been directed to ensure that there is no sale of flavoured/scented chewable tobacco & E-Cigarettes. He further said that all Food safety Officers have also been instructed to take five samples of chewable tobacco under FSSAI every month. Food Safety Officers have been asked to ensure the strict implementation of ban of Gutkha& Pan Masala as per Hon’ble Supreme Court ruling. Dr H S Bali, Director Health & Family Welfare, Punjab said that the tobacco control cell of the state had been aggressively pursuing the agenda to bring down tobacco consumption in Punjab by strictimplementation of COTPA and FSSAI. The banning of loose cigarettes was a step in that direction. Special awareness campaign has been launched in all districts from 1-7 November.