Education institutions to be tobacco-free in Assam

Guwahati, Jun 5: An initiative to create tobacco-free educational institutes across Assam has been taken up jointly by Tata Education Trust, Healis – Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health and Education Department of Assam.

To prevent school children falling prey to the tobacco products, it is necessary that every educational institute’s campus be tobacco-free – there must not be consumption or sale of tobacco on campus.

Education Department has ordered the Heads of all educational institutes to make their campuses tobacco-free.

There will be surveillance for this campaign. The Education Officers will investigate and report on the same.

To expedite the implementation of the act, all principals are being informed by SMS.

Speaking at the launch today, Director of Dr B Barooah Cancer Institute and patron of VoTV (Voice of Tobacco Victims), Amal Kataki said 90 per cent of oral cancers are tobacco related.

Indian Council of Medical Research’s report brought the fact into light that the cause of cancer in 50 per cent of male and 25 per cent of female is tobacco, 90 per cent of which is oral cancer.

“Tobacco contains more than 3000 chemical compounds of which 29 chemicals can cause cancer. India is now known as the cancer capital of the world. This initiative will prevent children from falling prey to tobacco products,” Dr Kakati said.

Sanjay Seth, Chief of Operations, Healis Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health said, “This initiative in addition to providing a safe campus for children will also provide a clean environment as tobacco products are largest cause of litter.”

Ashima Sarin, Project Director, Voice of Tobacco Victims (VoTV) said, “Tobacco not only impacts every part of the body but also every member of the family. In India, every day 2800 people are dying due to tobacco use.”

Global Youth Tobacco Survey indicates that more than 14.6 per cent youths in India in the age group of 13 – 15 years start to consume tobacco.

In India, 5500 children initiate the use of tobacco every day, some from age of 8 years become addicted.

In Assam, 140 children initiate tobacco use everyday- it is an alarming fact.

Partho Patwari representing Tata Education Trust said, “We have deep interest in education and are happy to support this initiative to provide a safe and clean environment to children.”  (UNI)

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