Institutions mark No Tobacco Day with advocacy
Dimapur, June 2 (EMN): Various government agencies and educational institutions besides community groups observed World No Tobacco Day during the week as they advocated against tobacco use and spoke about measures to address the malady.
The government’s publicity agency, the department of Information and Public Relations (IPR), issued updates about the events. Press releases from organisations and agencies informed about similar events.
Mon bans tobacco products
Coinciding with the event, the district administration of Mon has issued an order, on May 30, banning use of tobacco in the administration’s complex. The use of tobacco products not only affects the health of the user but also pollutes the surroundings.
‘It has also caused stains in the premises of the office of the deputy commissioner,’ the updates stated.
“And, whereas, in accordance with the sections 21, 24, 25 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (prohibition of advertisement and regulation of trade and commerce, production, supply and distribution) Act, 2003 of the central government, any tobacco product or intoxicants shall not be used within office premises,” the IPR stated of the administration’s order.
“Now, in order to maintain a healthy and clean office environment, use of tobacco products(s) has been banned in the premises of the office of the DC, Mon, with immediate effect.”
Further, all officers, staff and members of the public have been directed to comply with the order. Their failing to do as ordered will invite a fine of INR 100 for the first offence and INR 200 for subsequent offences, and on the spot.
The head ‘Doubashi’ of Mon district has been directed to detail the Doubashi on rotation to conduct thorough checking at the entrance of the office building and enforce the penal provision as mentioned. Fines are to be deposited with the cashier and by maintaining proper records, the IPR stated.
The subdivision officer of Mon is to supervise enforcement of the order and arrange warning signboards and posters on the walls of the office building.
World No Tobacco Day
A World No Tobacco Day programme for Mon district was held at the Don Bosco higher secondary school on May 31 with Thavaseelan K, deputy commissioner of the district, as the special guest.
Over the years, Thavaseelan stated, there has been a ‘generally descending trend of smoking’ in Nagaland.
“But the number of people who use tobacco in other forms has seen a significant increase. This is a serious concern,” the was quoted as having said.
He added that lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases are the major problems.
The administrator mentioned that a specific day was chosen as World No Tobacco Day to raise awareness about the deadly effects of tobacco use and to discourage the use of tobacco in any form.
‘A person who smokes is not only harming himself / herself but also others as they become second hand and third hand smokers,’ he said.
According to studies, the officer said, 68% of the population are exposed to second-hand smoke in their homes where parents or someone else smokes.
‘22% of people who visit public places are exposed to SHS and 27% of people are exposed to second hand smoke in their workplaces including government offices…. there is already a law which bans smoking in public places but enforcement of the same is a cause for concern,’ he said.
Dr. I Simon Sumi, district nodal officer, who was the speaker for the day’s theme, said tobacco is consumed in two forms namely smoking (cigarettes, ‘bidi,’ ‘hookah’ etc.) and use of smokeless products (‘Paan,’ ‘gutka,’ ‘Khaini’ etc).
He said there are three types of smokers: Active smokers, passive smokers (second hand smokers) and ‘third hand smokers.’
Sumi emphasised on the effect of tobacco on the lungs such as infections that inflame air sacs in one or both lungs which may be filled with fluids subsequently.
“Smoking also causes bacterial diseases that mainly affect the lungs, damage it and reduce lung function. Most cases of lung cancer are caused by smoking and tobacco smoking is responsible for over 2/3rd of the lung cancer deaths globally,” he added.
“Tobacco smoking is a very dangerous form of indoor air pollution where the smoke may be invisible and odourless but does linger in the air for up to five hours putting those exposed at risk of lung cancer, respiratory diseases and reduced lung function,” the updates stated.
In Wokha district, World No Tobacco Day was observed on May 31 at the Don Bosco school youth centre, organized by the district tobacco control cell of the National Tobacco Control Programme, the IPR informed.
The additional deputy commissioner of Wokha, Andrew C Imti, and Subdivision Police Officer Imkongsangba, no surname given, were the special guests of the event, the IPR stated.
In his address, Imti called information about the harmful effects of tobacco products very important, particularly for school children. He called for controlling or reducing the use of tobacco ‘because it affects our health and economy,’ the IPR reported. He was stated to have appealed to the school students at the programme to publicise the message of the harmful effects of tobacco among their friends and family.
Likewise, police officer Imkongsangba spoke about legal aspects pertaining to laws about the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act of 2003, which bans smoking in public places, for instance. He talked also about the laws governing the sale of tobacco products by shop keepers near educational institutions. He opined that publicity programmes will have a ‘great impact’ in curbing tobacco use.
A medical officer Dr. Benchilo Ngullie highlighted the negative aspects of tobacco use, which causes many health problems and even death in many cases. She appealed to the students to make every day a ‘no tobacco day.’
The integrated rehabilitation centre for addicts (Irca) of the Prodigals’ Home, and located at Murise village in Dimapur observed World No Tobacco Day on May 31.
A press release from the nongovernmental organisation Prodigals’ Home informed that the residents of the area were “given awareness” on the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and of second hand smoke exposure.
Apong Jamir, the coordinator of the centre, was stated to have counselled and exhorted the residents about tobacco use in their various forms. He presented to them information about the fatal consequences and health issues that crop up from using tobacco, the updates stated.
“Many of the residents admitted ignorance of all the consequences and pledged to do their best to give up tobacco along with their choice of chemicals,” the press release stated.
In Kiphire, the district’s Health society observed World No Tobacco Day at the Educational Block Research Centre at Yangphi school on May 31 with Additional Deputy Commissioner Reny Walfred as the event’s ‘special guest of honour,’ according to updates from organisers.
In his keynote address to the programme, Walfred was stated to have told the gathering that one needs to choose the right lifestyle in life by ‘keeping our body free from harmful substances like chewing and smoking tobacco substances’ in order to live ‘a happy life.’
The officer stated further that “because of these ills habits caused by tobacco products many beautiful souls have been lost.” Therefore, he challenged the gathering to make the ‘right choices in life by keeping ones health sound and fit.’
A medical officer, Dr. Manwen, no surname given in the press release, spoke on the theme of the programme “Tobacco and lung health.” “The best time to quit smoking was the day you started, the second best time is to quit today,” he told the gathering.
At the programme, members of Agape School performed a one-act play based on the theme with key message “kills it before it kills you,” the press release stated.
Members of the Kiphire Town Baptist Lithro also sang a song based on the theme, and with the message “Avoid tobacco and follow Christ,” the updates stated.
Unity College, Dimapur
The National Service Scheme of Unity College in Dimapur observed weeklong activities in commemoration of World No Tobacco Day, on May 31, a press release from the organisers stated.
Several activities were undertaken to educate the participants about the various ill effects of tobacco use.
‘Class to class sensitization, signature campaign, students’ pledge to give up tobacco and slogan with art competition was conducted. The winners for the slogan with art competition based on the theme ‘Tobacco and lung health’ were bagged by Temjentila I Ozukum, Yambeni Kikon and Y Hinji Pangshom in the first, second and third position respectively,’ the press release added.
Tobacco control activities in Peren
The National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) of Peren district, of the chief medical officer’s (CMO) establishment has been collaborating with various schools in the district to engage tobacco control activities.
This activities include assisting them in work and process that enable the schools to be ‘declared tobacco free’ since the programme was introduced in the district, a press release from the district’s CMO stated on Sunday.
“The team’s tireless effort is beginning to yield positive results and have reach a milestone and could prove that Peren district can walk alongside other districts in proving there is nothing that is impossible if there is determination and the will to work towards its goal for better community,” the health establishment asserted.
According to the press release, an educational institution the All Saint’s higher secondary school was declared tobacco-free on May 29 followed by a government middle school on the 30th of May.
Likewise on the 31st of May, Peletkie village became both “tobacco free village and school tobacco free,” the press release stated.
“This is a great achievement for both the educational institutions and the NTCP.”
The establishment also organized World No Tobacco day at Peletkie village on May 31. Deputy Commissioner Sarita Yadav was the guest of honour at the event, the updates stated.
A health official, Dr Sabino Kuotsu, spoke about the theme of the year’s event ‘Tobacco and lung health’ and how people should take care of their health.
During the event, primary school students sang too, the updates said.