A state level sensitisation workshop for members of district level task force for tobacco/nicotine control was held on Monday in the State Institute of Health & Family Welfare Mohali under chairmanship of Hussan Lal secretary health cum commissioner (food and drugs administration) FDA.
Speaking on the occasion, he said that there are many poisonous chemicals in tobacco due to which on an average about 2,200 people was dying every day in India. The state health department was taking stringent steps to curb this menace. He also said that all kinds of chewable tobacco and sale of loose cigarettes have already been banned in Punjab and license of a commercial establishment could be cancelled in case of violation of Tobacco Control Act as per latest notification of Punjab government. He appealed to people to help government in this endeavor.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Karanjit Singh director health and family welfare said that Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) was being effectively implemented and Monitored regularly at state level by Vini Mahajan, principal secretary health. Addressing the workshop, he said that the objectives of state level sensitisation workshop for members of district level task force was to sensitise the members of task force regarding latest notifications for tobacco/nicotine control, prior to a special campaign to act against abuse of tobacco and nicotine in hotels/eateries and to detect any functional Hukkah Bar and illegal sale of E-Cigarettes, loose cigarettes and flavoured/scented chewable tobacco.
Dr Rakesh Gupta state programme officer state tobacco control cell elaborated that compliance studies have been completed by school of public health PGI Chandigarh and compliance to Section 4 of COTPA has been found to be much more than the benchmark of 80% in all the districts. A formal declaration of Punjab as tobacco smoke free state is however awaited, said Dr Gupta.