Medicos, civil society press for blanket ban on tobacco, gutkha products in JK


Srinagar, May 31: Members of the civil society including students, social activists, media-persons and medicos on Thursday pressed for the blanket ban on the tobacco and gutkha products in the Jammu and Kashmir and resolved to fight the menace of smoking at various functions held in Srinagar city in connection with the World No-Tobacco Day.
GMC Function
In a seminar held at Government Medical College auditorium in connection here with the day, the participants deliberated on the ill effects of tobacco and pressed for the blanket ban on tobacco and gutkha products.
The function was organized by the Voluntary Health Association in India (VHAI) and J&K Voluntary Health and Development Association in collaboration with Divisional Administration, department of Youth Services and Sports, Drug & Food Safety Organization and J&K Bharat Scouts & Guides to celebrate “No Tobacco Day”.
Minister for Medical Education, R S Chib, who was the chief guest on the occasion “called for ban on the all the tobacco products in JK to save young population from its ill effects”.
Unless people support the anti-smoking campaign the ban won’t be effective, he said.
Noted medico and Chairman, Voluntarily Health Association of India, Prof G Q Allqaband, emphasized on the need for strict implementation of the Tobacco Control Act. Emphasizing on the theme, he said, smoking caused infertility, spontaneous abortions and low weight babies.
He also pressed for the effective ban on tobacco products. “The government needs to discourage tobacco companies by implementing stringent laws in the JK,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Post Master General, J&K circle John Samuel highlighted the ill effects of smoking and chewing of tobacco products. He declared the vicinity of entire General Post Offices (GPO) as smoke free zone.
The Minister released special cover of post office on the topic “quit smoking” which will be available in all post offices of the country for general public.
Executive Director J&K Voluntarily Health and Development Association, Srinagar A M Mir said we had been working on various social issues from some years now. World No Tobacco day comes with an extremely relevant message and wanted to touch upon the relevant masses.”
“We believe that youth are the strongest medium of spreading a message. When it comes to tobacco, youngsters are the soft targets hence we organized this function in the GMC,” he added.
Hailing the decision of government for raising the tax on the tobacco products, he said that this endeavor would help in curbing the menace of smoking.
The participants highlighted the efforts of various associations in making Budgam district a smoking free district. “They should also work to make Srinagar district also smoke free zone,” they said.
Among others, Chief Engineer, BEACON Brigadier TPS Rawat, Principal, Government Medical College, Srinagar, Dr Qazi Masood, Executive Director, J&K Bank, Tafazul Hussain, President, The Innercall and Vice- President J&K Bharat Scouts and Guides, Roma Wani, Chief Medical Officer, Dr Farooq, Chairman, National Security for Water, Resources, Wetland and Forests, Nazir Benazir, Deputy Director, YSS, Nilofer Amin, consultant ‘The Innercall’, Affan Yesvi, besides representatives from education, medical, police departments and  social activists were also present on the occasion.
Later, the Minister flagged-off the rally of students holding placards depicting messages and pictures regarding ill effects of smoking. The students of various educational institutes along with the students of Tyndale Biscoe School, beating drums, took out an anti-tobacco rally and marched in the City centre.
Greater Kashmir and Big 92.7 FM media partnered the event. Greater Kashmir, Senior Editor Arif Shafi Wani and RJ from 92.7 were also on the occasion.
World No Tobacco Day observed in KU
Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Sham Lal Sharma on Thursday sought the support of cross-sections of society to deal with the menace of tobacco and drug abuse which he said, “was destroying the younger generation.”
Speaking at a World No Tobacco Day function, organized by the Department of Students Welfare & National Service Scheme, Kashmir University today at Gandhi Bhawan, the Minister said that making of deterrent laws is not sufficient but there should be an attitudinal change in the mindset of people about different kinds of social evils including use of tobacco, gutkas and alcohol.
“There is a need for launching a strong movement against the tobacco and drug addiction, in which cooperation of the society and all stakeholders is important to save the coming generations from the further destruction and keeping the society free from all kinds of addictions,” Sharma said.
The minister appealed the NGOs, educational institutions, social/religious organizations to contribute for eradicating these evils from the society. “The need of the hour is to create greater awareness amongst the general masses about the ill effects of the tobacco and its related products on the health.”
He asked the students to become the ambassadors for this social cause and spread this message in their homes, in their areas and friend circle to keep away from the Tobacco and other social evils which are eating the vitals of the society.
Vice-Chancellor KU, Prof Talat Ahmed, Dean Students Welfare, KU, Prof. Nilofer Khan, Coordinator, NSS, KU, Dr Farooq Ahmed Khan, Head, Department of Medicines, SKIMS, Prof. Parvez Koul, faculty members, students were present on the occasion.
On the occasion, various competitions like, painting, poster making and debate competitions were held on the subject which were appreciated by the audience.
Earlier, in the morning Sharma flagged off an anti-Tobacco rally, organized by the Drugs & Food Control Organization in association with the Department of Health, Kashmir University, and Voluntary Health Organization at Nehru Park. The rally started from the Nehru Park and culminated at SKICC. Hundreds of students, volunteers of Civil Defence, Indian Red Cross Society, Voluntary Health Organization, prominent citizens, doctors, academicians and para-medics and common people participated in the rally.

Lastupdate on : Thu, 31 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 31 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 1 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST

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