School kids, Fortis Hospital staff join ‘Say No To Tobacco’ campaign across tri-city

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NewZNew (Mohali/Chandigarh/Panchkula) : Catchy slogans like ‘Each stick puts you at risk. Let Tobacco Go’ and ‘Tobacco in, Stamina out’ caught the attention of morning office goers as close to 100 volunteers, including students and teachers from Saupin’s School Mohali and The Learning Paths School Mohali and employees from Fortis Hospital Mohali positioned themselves at 10 busy intersections in the tri-city as part of an anti-tobacco campaign on Thursday morning.

The campaign was organized in the run up to the World No Tobacco Day observed on May 31 every year. Among other anti-tobacco slogans carried on placards being held by the volunteers were ‘Your organs fail with what you inhale’, ‘Make the choice to keep your voice’, ‘After a while, the body becomes fragile’. The slogans reflected the direct impact of tobacco consumption on the risk of cancer.

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Exhorting smokers to quit tobacco, Dr Rajeev Bedi, Director (Medical Oncology), Fortis Cancer Institute Mohali, said, “The most immediate benefit of not smoking is that within 20 minutes, your heart rate and blood pressure drop, and within 12 hours, the carbon monoxide levels in your blood drop to normal. As far as the long-term benefits are concerned, after 15 years, the risk of coronary artery disease is that of a non-smoker’s. Within 10 years of quitting, your risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker and your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decreases.”

Stating that it was important to start health education among children, Abhijit Singh, Facility Director of the hospital, said, “Our School Buddies’ Programme is centered around the philosophy of engraining the young with the right health values. We involve school and college students in our campaigns so that the future generations are healthier and happier.”

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Ms Komal Singh, Principal of The Learning Paths School and Ms Goldy Kapany, Prinicipal of Saupin’s School Mohali, lauded Fortis Cancer Institute for organizing the awareness drive. “We are proud of being associated with this cause. Quitting smoking is not as easy as it sounds. As per Global Adult Tobacco Survey, in India about 26% of current adult smokers plan to or are thinking about quitting in the next 12 months. Ours is a small push in that direction,” they said.

Light points where activity took place:

  1. Phase VII Petrol Pump traffic light point, Mohali
  2. Phase 3B2-Phase 5 traffic light point, Mohali
  3. JW Marriott Roundabout, Chandigarh
  4. Aroma traffic lights, Chandigarh
  5. Sector Bus Stand 17 traffic light point, Chandigarh
  6. Matka Chowk, Chandigarh
  7. Government Press traffic light point, Chandigarh
  8. Kisan Bhavan, Sector 35, Chandigarh
  9. Tribune Chowk, Chandigarh
  10. Sector 7 traffic light point, Panchkula