Tarn Tarn to be declared Tobacco Smoke Free on Dec. 31

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STATE LEVEL ORIENTATION WORKSHOP FOR KEY STAKEHOLDERS ON IMPLEMENTATION OF COTPA, 2003 INAUGURATED

clean-air-1NewZNew (Chandigarh) : To forcefully implement the Anti- Tobacco laws and to sensitize all stakeholders, Director Health and Family Welfare Punjab, Dr. Karanjit Singh inaugurated a State Level Orientation workshop for Key Stakeholders on implementation of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products act, 2003 (COTPA, 2003) here today. The workshop was organized by Tobacco Control Cell Punjab in collaboration with International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (The Union) and SNEHA (NGO).

In his inaugural address, Dr. Karamjit Singh said that 18 districts of the state have already been declared as Tobacco Smoke Free (TSF) on the basis of compliance studies by PGI Chandigarh. Tarn Tarn would be declared as TSF on New Year eve. The prime objective of this workshop was to sensitize participants from all the stake holder departments regarding importance of implementation of COTPA, said Dr. Karanjit Singh. He also said that recently Chief Secretary Punjab had communicated all DCs regarding this.

Dr.  Rakesh Gupta, SPO Tobacco Control Cell Punjab said that Ludhiana, Moga and Pathankot would be declared tobacco smoke free next.  He said that on the directive of the Health and Family Welfare Minister Mr. Surjit Kumar Jayani, a departmental committee has been constituted to ensure the implementation COPTA across the state. He also sought the cooperation of each department in declaring Punjab a tobacco smoke free state by 2015. He further said that chewable tobacco and E-Cigarettes have already been banned in the state under Drugs and Cosmetics act.

Deliberating during the conference, Dr. Rana J Singh Senior Consultant South East Asia Unit of International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease from ‘The Union’ said that Tobacco is gateway to all other addictions. We should have multi sectorial approach & should scale up Public Private Partnerships to ensure COTPA. He added that a short term, mid-term and long term comprehensive plan should be made for the state and the implementation should be sustainable.

Dr.  S. P Surila, President, SNEHA presented the vote of thanks. Prominent amongst others who participated in the conference were Chairman SNEHA Dr Ravi Kumar Ex civil Surgeon, Mr. Sodagar Singh, Mr. Padam Dev Sood, Sh Jasbir Singh State Coordinator, Tobacco control cell Punjab.