The Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Ganderbal, Mehraj-ud-Din Shah today chaired District Level Coordination Committee meeting to devise a strategy in Tobacco Free Educational Institutions (TFEI) and Tobacco Free Villages in the district.
At the outset, Chief Medical Officer Ganderbal, Dr Afroza Shah briefed the chair that they are planning some activities to be carried out under TFEI as well as Tobacco Free Villages and Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) 2003 in schools and villages across the district.
She said that Tobacco control can be achieved by awareness against use of tobacco and implementation of COTPA and TFEI around educational institutions. She said during the activities in schools teachers and students will be sensitized about the provisions of COTPA and guidelines of the TFEI.
The CMO said under COTPA, every school has to appoint a Nodal Officer for tobacco control who can fine shopkeepers and vendors who sell tobacco and tobacco products near schools.Speaking in the meeting, the ADC said that the role of teachers, schools and education department is pivotal as the new generation is getting attracted towards smoking which is a challenge.
Tobacco is putting a huge economic burden on people and it has health hazards associated, he added.Earlier, a detailed presentation was presented by Dr Safeena Mushtaq Regarding TFEI and health hazards of tobacco which is the root cause for many diseases prevalent in society, particularly various cancers, cardiac diseases and many more.
ADC directed District Level Coordination Committee members to play their role as it is a multi-pronged strategy of different individuals, organizations and departments to coordinate and arrive at a comprehensive policy to defeat this grave issue which is going to have serious consequences if they fail to control it.
He asked the police department to enforce COPTA strictly and sale of tobacco or related products shall be banned within 100 metres of educational institutes.The ADC also directed the Food and Drug Department to have vigorous market checking for the same.
He assured complete support from district administration regarding the implementation of COTPA and TFEI.In the meeting, it was also revealed that every school will have health clubs that will look after the health and social aspects of students particularly with reference to tobacco use.
The meeting was attended by CMO Ganderbal, Dr Afroza Shah; Dy CEO and other committee members.