On the occasion of the World No Tobacco Day on Thursday,a special drive was undertaken by the UT Health and Police Department. The theme for this years No Tobacco Day was interference by tobacco industry.
A special team was constituted by DSP Satbir Singh,nodal officer of Chandigarh Police for tobacco control. The team along with state nodal officer,National Tobacco Control Programme,Chandigarh,Dr Deepak Bakshi went around sectors 16,17,18 and 22. The team found glow signboards of cigarette brands Crown and Classic respectively at Pakeezah Pan House,Sector 22,and Chaurasia Pan House,Sector 18. These glow signboards were removed and confiscated by the police for violating Section 5 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) 2003,which prohibits any advertisement of any cigarette and/or tobacco products.
Surprisingly,at the Barista outlet in Sector 17,the team found display and advertising boxes allegedly provided by the tobacco giant,ITC. These were confiscated along with the displayed cigarette packets and booked under Section 5 of the COTPA .The authorities at Barista claimed that this was done as per an agreement between the two companies at the national level.
Apart from these,about 20 challans were issued for various violations of different provisions of the COTPA. Interestingly,the team did not come across even a single shop selling cigarettes at the bus stand in Sector 17.
The National Tobacco Control Cell would soon launch a drive for ensuring that the private institutions,shops and offices adhere to these rules. As for the challans for violations under the COTPA,approximately 1,450 challans have been issued since April 1,2011 to date.
Besides,the Psychiatry Department of PGIMER held an exhibition on tobacco and its harmful effects as also on the efforts being made by the department to help the willing to quit this addiction of tobacco products.
An awareness camp on the occasion of World No Tobacco day was held by Fortis Hospital at CRPF base camp in Sector 43.
Dr Zafar Ahmed Iqbal,associate consultant,critical care and pulmonology,Fortis Hospital,addressed 150 personnel of the CRPF. Ravinder Sharma,Deputy Commandant,CRPF,was also present.
Revealing alarming facts to the CRPF personnel,Dr Iqbal said,The New England Journal of Medicine study found that smoking already accounts for 900,000 deaths a year in India. It warned that without action,the death toll from smoking would climb further. It predicted that smoking could soon account for 20% of all male deaths and 5% of all female deaths between the ages of 30 and 69. In fact,about 90 per cent of lung cancer deaths in men and almost 80 per cent of lung cancer deaths in women are due to smoking. People who smoke are 10 to 20 times more likely to get lung cancer or die from lung cancer than people who do not smoke.