Srinagar, Aug 6: In a significant step towards promoting health and well-being, the University of Kashmir has declared all its campuses tobacco-free.
The Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof. Nilofer Khan in adherence to the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) of 2003 and various orders and notifications issued by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, has taken the decision to prohibit the use of cigarettes and other tobacco-related products within the premises of all the campuses of the University.
The move comes in the wake of the revised guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day on May 31 of 2023.
"The Tobacco Free Youth Campaign in the country further reinforced the university's determination to create a healthier and cleaner environment for its students, staff, and visitors," reads a circular issued by the Registrar KU, Dr Nisar Ahmad Mir.
The initiative is expected to have a positive impact on the overall health and productivity of the university population.
"All campuses of the University of Kashmir are now designated as 'Tobacco-free zones,'" the circular reads.
The move to declare all the campuses tobacco free is not only a legal requirement but also a moral responsibility to protect the health and future of the students and staff members.
As per the circular, the directive is applicable to all individuals within the premises of the main and Satellite Campuses of the University, including employees, students, research scholars, visitors, and shopkeepers.
"They are strictly prohibited from using any tobacco-related products on the campus," the circular reads.
The University administration has warned of strict actions against violators of the tobacco-free policy. "As per the provisions of the relevant laws, anyone found flouting the directive will face severe consequences. The Chief Proctor will serve as the nodal officer responsible for enforcing strict vigilance and penalizing those who violate the ban," it reads.
The move has been widely appreciated by students and staff of the University alike and is seen as a proactive measure by the Varsity administration to foster a culture of health consciousness and environmental responsibility.