The MP government on Saturday directed all colleges and universities of the state to make their campuses tobacco-free from May 31, the World Anti-Tobacco Day.
Taking cognizance of the non-implementation of the Tobacco Control Act 12 years after it was passed, the higher education department has directed all the additional directors, vice-chancellors (V-Cs) and principals of private and government colleges to make their premises tobacco-free.
Principal secretary of higher education department KK Singh said: “We have sent the order to every educational institute of the state. There are many colleges and universities which don’t have warning boards, so we have asked the V-Cs and principals to give undertakings of the complete implementation of the act.”
In colleges, the Jan Bhagidari Samiti (People’s Participatory Committee) will bear the expenses of putting up the warning boards.
The principals and V-Cs will also have to submit a monthly report on the anti-smoking activities to the superintendent of police and the collector.
Public health expert and coordinator Dr Soumil Rastogi said: “The World Health Organisation has already declared the problem of untimely death from the consumption of tobacco and its products a world epidemic. In the state, 350 students develop the habit of consuming tobacco daily.”
“This is the good step and should have been taken some years ago. The best part of this order is that the department will monitor the implementation,” he said.
“To stop the sale of tobacco and its product in areas that are 100 metres away from educational institutions, we are coordinating with the police and the district administration because it’s not possible for the college administration to deal with sellers and take action against them,” Rastogi added.