World No Tobacco Day 2022 – Strengthen Tobacco Control Laws to save lives

World No Tobacco Day 2022 – Strengthen Tobacco Control Laws to save lives

World No Tobacco Day 2022 – Strengthen Tobacco Control Laws to save lives

World No Tobacco Day is observed every year on 31st May to highlight the harmful effects of tobacco not only on humans but on the environment at large.  As per World Health Organisation, Tobacco kills over 8 million people every year. It is also responsible for creating some serious damage to our environment through cultivation and waste. 

Consumer VOICE observed World No Tobacco Day with their partner states across India with the objective to ‘Strengthen Tobacco Control Laws to save lives’.

Assam

Cyclothon was organized on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day by Consumers’ Legal Protection Forum (CLPF) in collaboration with Consumer Voice New Delhi. The event was supported by Assam Cycling Association and Guwahati Cycling Community at Guwahati Assam.

Around 300 cyclists with placards and messages supporting COTPA Amendment, strengthening tobacco laws and to implement vendor licensing started their cycling rally from Khanpara ,Guwahati covering all important areas via GS road, Ulubari and again gathered at the venue (Khanpara).They were wearing T-shirts made exclusively for the event.

The event was graced by the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Shri Himanta Biswa Sarma who showed keen interest towards the cause of Tobacco Intervention. He interacted with cyclists and encouraged them to choose a healthy life and not tobacco. 

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Shri Abhinash Joshi, Principal Secretary, Health joined the occasion also flagged off the event along with other dignitaries like Shri Debarj Upadhyay, IGP (CID), Dr. A. C. Kataki, Director, Dr. B.Borooah Cancer Institute, Phuleswar Basumatary, Deputy Commissioner of Tax, Dr. Munindra Narayan Baruah, Director, North East Cancer Institute and Research Center. All the dignitaries briefly addressed the gathering and encouraged the youth to live healthy life and stay away from tobacco.
Cyclists were very enthusiastic about the event and supported the cause. Mr.Ajoy and Mr.Samya of CLPF welcomed all the guests and participants .The event was started with a flag off by all dignitaries invited. MsRinki Sharma from Consumer VOICE New Delhi joined the event and interacted with the youth and dignitaries. Dr.Tapan Das, Secretary, Assam Cycling association also joined and urged the youth to support the cause of tobacco intervention.

Certificates of Participation and medals were given to participants.

Media Reports – Assam

Gujarat

To mark the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, Rajkot Saher Jilla Grahak Suraksha Mandal, Rajkot, in collaboration with Consumer VOICE, Delhi, organized a Walkathon and seminar at Asiatic Engineering College, Gondal, Rajkot, Gujarat with, students, government officials, etc. on the theme of Strengthen Tobacco Control Laws to Save Lives’.

The walkathon was conducted at the college ground where more than 100 students of Asiatic Engineering College including teachers and professors participated. Various placards with slogans and messages were shared at the event urging to Strengthen Tobacco Control Laws to save lives, strong implementation of COTPA and also Tobacco Vendor Licensing system in Gujarat. T-shirts highlighting the subject of tobacco control were distributed to students and people who joined the walkathon and workshop including staff of the campus.

The trustee of college Shri Gopal Bhai urged the students to take pledge for not consuming tobacco and also ask other people to quit this deadly product.

Seminar with youths

A seminar organized at the Asiatic College was organized with representatives of civil societies, doctors, students, and cancer victims where they urged the Government to remove designated smoking rooms at hotels/restaurants and airports to protect people from second-hand smoke also to ban advertising at point of sale.

While appreciating the Government for initiating the process to amend COTPA 2003, they appealed for immediate removal of the current provision that permits smoking areas to make India 100 percent smoke-free and banning the point of sale to save the younger generations from the menace of tobacco.

The key speakers who addressed the audience were Shri. K.V.Nakum-Dy.Collector Gondal, Rajkot Gujarat Smt.Bhawnaben Raiyani-Chairman Municipality Gondal, Gopalbhai-Trustee Asiatic college, Dr.Mahesh, Civil Hospital, Jitubhai Acharya-chairman Journalist Association, Prafulbhai Todiya-Director Gondal Marketing Yard etc. All the dignitaries emphasized on the need to make healthy India and urged the young generation to choose health and stay away from tobacco.

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Shri K. V. Naukm, Hon’ble Deputy Collector, Gondal, said that “It is alarming that children and teens are lured towards tobacco addiction. It’s time to fill the loopholes and strengthen the laws to make tobacco Free India”

Mr.Ramjibhai Mavani-Ex Member of Parliament, Mrs.Ramaben Mavani-Ex Member of Parliament & President RSJGSM welcomed all the speakers and guests and also shared their valuable thoughts. They urged the central government to make strengthen tobacco law by amendment in present law.

They also emphasized on the importance of stronger laws for tobacco intervention and save precious lives and requested state authorities to implement vendor licensing in Gujarat. Ms.Ekta Purohit, Manager Projects- Consumer VOICE shared about importance of amendment in present tobacco law COTPA Act 2003.

Youth activist advocate Vivek Limbasiya interacted with the audience and shared the importance of COTPA law to save younger generation from tobacco. Shri Gopalbhai Bhuva, Hon’ble Chairman, Asiatic Engineering College gave vote of thanks and concluded the event.

In the walkathon and seminar, more than 200 people from all walks participated. They were holding placards to make tobacco free India by brining stronger law (COTPA Amendment) and also implement vendor licensing in the state.

At the end of the seminar, a memorandum for Strengthen the Tobacco Control Laws to Save Lives was signed by 220 youth and submitted to Ms. Ekta Purohit, Manager-Projects, Consumer VOICE New Delhi which was addressed to the Prime Minister of India and Union Health Minister, Government of India.

Media Reports – Gujarat

GOA

To observe World No Tobacco Day in Goa, National Organization for Tobacco Eradication, NOTE (India) Goa & GOKARMA Oncology Association along with Consumer VOICE, New Delhi organized a multi city Cyclothon on 29th May 2022, Sunday.

The event was flagged off from the following locations simultaneously at 6.30 AM by following dignitaries.

1. Panaji: Shri Vikas Gaunekar, Additional Secretary Health- Divja Circle.alongwith Dr. Shekhar Salkar and Amarjeet Singh

2. Margaon: Dr Ira Almeida, Director National Health Mission Bolshe Circle, Near Chougule College, Borda.

3. Ponda: Dr Poornima Usgaonkar, Ex President IMA Women Wing Goa Kranti Maidan, Opp Police Station

4. Vasco: Prof. Suman Kundu – Director BITS Pilani KK Birla Goa campus. Dabolim Junction, Near Airport

Around 189 cyclists under the guidance of Dr Amol Mahaldar, Dr Vishwajit Phaldesai, Dr Sandeep Naik, and Mr Kedar Kenkre from the above locations converged at Mahalasa Temple Verna IDC in morning.

Shri Mohinder Amarnath, renowned cricketer and current cricket analyst joined the initiative and congratulated the members on joining for a social cause and taking part in such events. He asked the youth to stay away from tobacco and added that it is imperative to stay away from vices like tobacco to live a healthy and long life.

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Dr Shekhar Salkar, renowned oncologist and President NOTE Goa welcomed all the riders and dignitaries and explained that the event was in concurrence to the themes of 2022, the emphasis was on safe guarding environment from dangers of tobacco industry and also strengthening laws pertaining to tobacco control in country.

Mr Amarjeet Singh, Sr. Advisor Legal & Projects, Consumer VOICE sensitized the gathering on the national tobacco control law COTPA 2003. He stressed on the need to strengthen COTPA to plug the loopholes being misused by tobacco companies to continue its killing business.

Youth Interaction Programme

A youth interaction program with Goa Government Engineering College, Farmagudi was also organized for the occasion.

Dr Shekhar Salkar President NOTE, along with Dr Devdutt Sail, Secretary, NOTE ( India) sensitized the students on tobacco menace and how it impacts youth. Mr R. B. Lohan, Principal GEC, while addressing the gathering which included more than 100 students urged the youth to stay away from tobacco. IEC materials on anti-tobacco were also distributed among the children. The session was followed by a post-lecture questionnaire, and students were awarded spot prizes. Mr Manguish Desai, Prof. Goa, Government Engineering College conveyed the vote of thanks.

Media Reports – Goa

World No Tobacco Day 2020 – Towards a tobacco free generation

World No Tobacco Day 2020 – Towards a tobacco free generation

World No Tobacco Day 2020 – Towards a tobacco free generation

Tobacco products kill more than 8 million people every year which effectively means the future generation. With each passing day, tobacco and related industry is becoming smarter by the day. To target adolescents, the tobacco industry is coming up with several tricks and tactics. Some of these are:

  • Sponsored events and parties
  • Product placement in entertainment media
  • Free product samples
  • Selling products at eye level for children
  • Product placement and advertising near schools
  • Over 15,000 flavours, most of which attract children and adolescents

But in this World No Tobacco Day, WHO is planning to debunk myths and expose devious tactics employed by these industries by launching counter-marketing campaign. This year the theme of World No Tobacco Day 2020 campaign is “protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use”, that aims to sensitize and make the youth aware about the harmful effects of tobacco use and expose the tactics employed by the industry to attract the youth. Through this campaign, WHO encourages everyone to gain knowledge, spread awareness and create a ‘tobacco-free generation’.

Vendor Licensing in India

Tobacco consumption among the younger generation has its own set of problems. As per WHO, nearly 37% children in India initiate smoking before the age of 10 and 14.6% of 13-15 year old students in India use tobacco. If one goes deeper to understand the reason for increased smoking among children, it is easy availability of tobacco and tobacco products like cigarettes and bidis.

One of the effective measures of stopping school children and minors from falling prey to tobacco smoking is implementation of vendor licensing through Cigarettes and other Tobacco products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulations of Trade and Commerce Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA). COTPA, specifically prohibits smoking in all public places, prohibition of direct and indirect advertisement, promotion and sponsorship of cigarettes and other tobacco products, prohibition of sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products to minors and within 100 yards of any educational institution, and display of health warning, including pictorial warning on ill effects of tobacco use on the packages of all tobacco products.

The states and cities in India which have issued vendor licensing orders using the power under their respective Municipal laws and regulations include Himachal Pradesh, Patna (Bihar), Howrah (West Bengal) Rajasthan and Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh), Ranchi (Jharkhand ) and recently Madhya Pradesh, and Assam

Big Tobacco Tiny Targets

Consumer VOICE and Voluntary Health Association of India conducted a Big Tobacco Tiny Targets study to determine the extent of tobacco products being marketed and sold around schools in India. A total sample of 243 schools and 487 points of sale were closely surveyed during this study in these 20 cities. The objective of this survey was to ascertain whether the ban on selling tobacco products near educational institutions as per the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) is being enforced in cities across the country or not.

Also Read: Cigarette and tobacco shops can no longer sell chips and candies

As per Mr.Ashim Sanyal, Chief Operating Officer, Consumer VOICE “Vendors sell cigarettes and bidis via single sticks, making these products cheap and accessible to children and youth. Selling of such products outside of educational institutes attracts the youth to get addicted. This move will surely curtail the tobacco consumption, he added.

City Level Workshop for Sensitization Of Stakeholders to Support Tobacco Vendor Licensing Tirupathi, Andhra Pradesh

City Level Workshop for Sensitization Of Stakeholders to Support Tobacco Vendor Licensing Tirupathi, Andhra Pradesh

City Level Workshop for Sensitization Of Stakeholders to Support Tobacco Vendor Licensing Tirupathi, Andhra Pradesh

The Consumers Guidance Society, Vijayawada and Consumer Awareness Society, Tirupathi, Andhra Pradesh in collaboration and support of VOICE, organized a workshop on “Tobacco Control in Youth Hostel, Tirupathi, Andhra Pradesh on February 8, 2019. The main objective of the workshop was to sensitization of stakeholders on tobacco control measures in Andhra Pradesh through vendor licensing.The workshop was presided over by Sri. P. Raja Reddy, President, District Federation .of Consumer Organisations. A renowned oncologist Dr. Surya Sen, Sri Prabhakara Rao, Assistant Controller, Food Safety, Ch. Hari Kishan, Programe Executive, Consumers Guidance Society, Vijayawada were also part of the workshop.

Raja Reddy, President, Chittor District Federation of Consumer Organisation highlighted the findings of Tobacco Survey Consumption in Andhra ·Pradesh and the key findings of the survey on Tobacco Vendors in Tirupathi,  Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam.

Key Findings of survey:

  • Tobacco vendors are violating COTPA.
  • Mandatory warning display board was not found in 82 % point of sale.
  • Tobacco products are displayed openly in 61% cases.
  • Sale of loose cigarettes is rampant 98%, which frustrate purpose of pictorial warning at package.
  • 89 % Tobacco vendors were found Selling candy, chips etc. the products meant for and to attract children/youth to tobacco shops.

He stated that COTPA was ineffectively enforced in the State,  resulting in easy accessibility of tobacco products within the reach of children and other  vulnerable people. Hence, he emphasized that regulatory mechanism over the sale of Tobacco Products should be revisited and strengthened. As a part of this, compulsory vendor license should be introduced for the sale of tobacco and other allied products to prevent children from falling prey to these hazardous products. Therefore, he opined an effective strategy should be designed and pursued for effective implementation of compulsory vendor license for sale of tobacco products.

Dr. Surya Sen, a renowned oncologist has stated that 70 percent of his patients were tobacco smokers and the singular reason for their pathetic health condition involving deceases like oral cancer, lung cancer, intestinal cancer and other deceases was primarily on account of consumption of Tobacco and other allied products. He said tobacco consumers not only injure their own health but also the health and safety of their own family members by releasing smoke in the living spaces of their family. He strongly advocated that tobacco farmers should be motivated to cultivate alternative crops to address the root of the problem.

 

Prabhakar Rao, Assistant IT Food Controller, Food Safety, said that though use of tobacco in food is totally banned but in reality tobacco is mixed in Pan Masala, Khaini and other food products by mislabeling and misbranding products and which needs to be curbed effectively . He further stated that lacunae in the existing laws are being taken as an advantage by the Tobacco manufacturers to evade regulatory mechanism and indulge in surrogate advertisements.

He opined that compulsory tobacco vending license is definitely a good move to save children and youngsters from the influence of tobacco products and therefore, it should be properly designed and introduced. Ch. Hari Kishan,  Programme  executive, GCGS has  highlighted the ominous findings of on-line survey on Tobacco trade and vendors  and steps that are required to address the problem. The participants had interacted with resource persons by raising their queries and concerns. Around 80 participants representing Consumer Organisations, Civil Society, media, doctors, academia, youth clubs etc., participated in the workshop. Media supported the event and provided mass coverage.

Media Coverage

Media Coverage Tirupati,AP

World No Tobacco Day 2020 – Towards a tobacco free generation

COTPA Act openly violated near schools in Delhi

Speaking to one of the correspondents of a leading national daily, Mr. Ashim Sanyal, COO, Consumer VOICE, India revealed that COTPA (Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003) is openly violated near the school of south and East Delhi.

The field researchers of Consumer VOICE surveyed 30 schools in Delhi and found shops and kiosks selling tobacco products in the close vicinity of the school that is less than yards from the school.

“As our field research proved, there’s a deadly infiltration of tobacco products around schools despite laws banning the same. Children are being lured into trying out tobacco, which ultimately becomes a habit leading to deadly health consequences. We urge the Delhi government to ensure there are no kiosks or shops near schools and that they should be removed from the 100-yard vicinity of schools to help curb tobacco menace to save innocent children. Tobacco is openly available near educational institutions despite a ban on its sale within 100 yards of a school campus,” said Ashim Sanyal, the chief operating officer of Consumer Voice.