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Walkathon to make Tobacco Free Barrackpore

An initiative by Barrackpore Police Commissionerate

Narayana Health, Howrah & Sambandh Health Foundation 

Barrackpore, 18 July 2018: A walkathon was organized as an awareness initiative to make Barrackpore Tobacco Free by Barrackpore Police Commissionerate in association with Narayana Health, Howrah and Sambandh Health Foundation. The main goal of the Walkathon was to highlight the risk factors associated with the use of tobacco, protect the present and future generation from the tobacco epidemic and create awareness among masses.

The event started with a walk from Barrackpore Police Line via Chiria More to Sukanta Sadan, with the active participation of students from various schools and colleges, followed by a counseling session on Tobacco and Prize Distribution Ceremony where 20 students were felicitated for winning anti-tobacco poster competition. Dr. Rajesh Kumar Singh, Commissioner of Police, Barrackpore Police Commissionerate flagged off the Walkathon. Chairman of Barrackpore Municipality, Shri Uttam Das along with Doctors, Teachers, Police Personnel and more than 500 students took part in the Walkathon. The awareness session was aimed at raising public awareness about negative effects of smoking, highlighting the social, environmental and economic scourges of tobacco use along with promoting tobacco free educational institutes to prevent initiation of tobacco consumption among youth.

Commissioner of Police, Barrackpore Dr. Rajesh Kr Singh, said “Children are being initiated into tobacco usage –both chewing and smoking- which leads to high incidence of oral cancer and other illnesses. Barrackpore Police is committed towards ensuring a completely tobacco free atmosphere for the youth, through strict enforcement of COTPA. Immediate penal actions shall be taken against offenders for smoking in public places, selling tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions and to minors. By initiating this campaign, we are trying to keep the children away from tobacco addiction.”

Dr Sourav Datta, head and neck Oncologist, Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Howrah, said”Narayana Health is dedicated to prevent youth from tobacco in West Bengal. Many patients are operated for major oral cancers due to tobacco that leads to huge mental trauma and financial lose and face big setback in their lives – almost 50% do not survive more than a year. They all repent why they consumed tobacco. Prevention is better than cure – so we applaud this excellent initiative of Barrackpore Police in bringing all of us together in Saying No to Tobacco.”  Also Barrackpore is as a tobacco free role model in west Bengal.

Mr. Akshay Oleti, Facility Director of Narayana Health, Howrah, said, “We at Narayana Health feel that as citizens of the country it is our responsibility to encourage users to refrain from tobacco consumption. It is equally important to create awareness about good health and overall well-being of the society.”

According to GATS-2 data 33.5% of all adults in West Bengal that is 2.3 crore people use some form of tobacco and 1.5 lakh people die every year due to tobacco related diseases. It is estimated that more than 440 children start consuming tobacco daily in West Bengal. The Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) prohibits smoking in public places, direct/indirect advertising and promotion, sale to/by minors, sale within 100 yards of schools and sale of tobacco-products without statutory warnings. These COTPA rules were shared with the people at the event.

In West Bengal, as per GATS-2, 48.5% of men, 17.9 %  of women of all adults currently either smoke and or use smokeless tobacco. As per data, 31.7 % of men, 0.9 % of women and 16.7  % of all adult currently smoke tobacco, while 22.8 % 0f men, 17.2 %  of women and 20.1 %  of all adults currently use smokeless tobacco.

Mr. Sanjay Seth, Trustee & Head of Tobacco Control, Sambandh Health Foundation said, “Barrackpore Police’s initiative is commendable and we must all get together to make our society healthier. Enforcement of COTPA by Police will prevent our future generation falling prey to these deadly tobacco products.” all participant taking oath say no tobacco.

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