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Div Com Kashmir pitches for blanket ban of smoking at public places; says no mercy for people involved in drug trafficking activities


Srinagar April 05 (KINS): The Directorate of Health Services of Kashmir today conducted a Divisional Level Workshop of various key stakeholders for implementation of National Tobacco Control Programme (NTPC) and Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, (COPTA)- 2003 at Banquet Hall, Srinagar.

The Workshop was inaugurated by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Vijay Kumar Bidhuri and was attended by DIG, Central Kashmir, Dir Health Services Kashmir, Mushtaq Ahmad Rather, Dir Colleges, Dir School Education, RTO Kashmir, Deputy Director Information Kashmir, officers from SMC, State Taxes Deptt, Drug & Food Control, ULB, RDD, National Health Mission, Health Department and members of NGOs Voluntary Health Kashmir & Health Association Kashmir.

Speaking on the occasion, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir underlined the need to ensure a ban on smoking at public places including schools, colleges, hotels, buses, markets and stressed on spot imposition of fine on the smokers.

He said teachers should sensitize students about the harmful impact of smoking on the health and mind of youth and the ill-effect on society.

Meanwhile, he said that substance use has taken a dangerous situation in Kashmir and maintained there shall be no mercy for those involved in drug peddling. He also showed concern that if the drug nexus is not curbed effectively then it would have dangerous repercussions.

Div Com said that an intensive campaign has been run on social media and mainstream media against drug menace.

He directed for organising gainful activities to keep youth away from negativity.

Dir HSK Mushtaq Ahmad while welcoming guests said that the aim of the workshop is to bring key stakeholders on a single platform and to sensitize them for effective implementation of NTCP & COTPA-2003 and to chalk out a comprehensive policy for prohibition of smoking.

He said J&K was the 5th state to impose a ban on e-cigarette and also stated that Shri Amarnath Yatra was declared Tobacco free from 2019.

Besides, he said a circular for complete ban on smoking in and around educational institutions has to be enforced to make them tobacco free.

He said that utmost importance shall be given to ban on tobacco to save precious lives and future generations.

During the workshop, State Nodal Officer, NTCP, Dr Mir Mushtaq gave a presentation on Overview of National Tobacco Control Programme COTPA 2023 and TOFEI, while Nodal Officer Mental Health, Dr Majid Shafi presented on Health Hazards of Tobacco and Drug De-addiction.

National Speaker for Tobacco Cessation, President Rajasthan Cancer Foundation Dr Rajesh Gupta gave a detailed presentation on Tobacco Cessation.

The speakers gave data of the active smokers, age group involved, reasons of smoking, number of substance users, urge to quit smoking, lessons for treatment, motivational advice, NDC, ATF centres offering help in districts, fatalities, hazards, economic impact, cascading plan action, sustained awareness and education.

Dr Muhammad Naser, SPC, J&K presented vote of thanks to all the officers who participated in the workshop. (KINS)

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