In its latest circular, CBSE has directed schools affiliated to it not to allow their students to participate in the events sponsored by firms or subsidiaries of firms promoting the use of tobacco in any form.
The circular states that tobacco consumption remains a serious health issue and making young people aware of the hazards of consuming tobacco is the most productive step towards ensuring a tobacco-free society.
“It has come to the notice of the board that some tobacco-promoting firms are finding some innovative ways of being involved with schoolchildren. It is, therefore, strongly advised that no school affiliated to CBSE is permitted to allow its students to participate in events sponsored by any firm or a subsidiary of a firm which promotes the use of tobacco in any form,” read the notification. It further stated that schools/students should not accept any prize or scholarship instituted by such firms. Also, schools should not be associated with or use brand names, emblems, trademark, logo or trade insignia or any other distinct feature directly/indirectly connected with tobacco products for its activities.
The board advised the schools to display posters detailing the ill effects of tobacco use at prominent places on their premises. The board also advised school heads to download the copy of the Cigarette and other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003 .
“Peer educators and counsellors of schools may be involved in these activities in mission mode,” the circular said.
“It is a welcome step of the board and all schools must follow it. Tobacco is extremely harmful and we must spread awareness against it and debar any company directly or indirectly associated with tobacco,” said city-based CBSE counsellor Rakesh Sachdeva.