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

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