May 31, 2012 admin

Amritsar & Rupnagar to be declared “Smoke Free” soon

WORLD NO TOBACCO DAY (31-5-12) celebrated across Punjab
District Mansa declared as the Second "SMOKE FREE" district of Punjab

Chandigarh, 31st. May, 2012 (Bharat Sandesh News):- The Punjab Government here today formally declared District Mansa as the second smoke free district of the state. A decision to this effect was taken by Ms.Vini Mahajan, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Punjab on the occasion of  World No Tobacco Day.

Earlier, District Ajitgarh (Mohali) had been declared as the first smoke free district by the Punjab Government on 23rd February 2012. Ms Vini Mahajan appreciated the consistent effort made by the State Tobacco Control Cell, Punjab as well as District Administration, Mansa in the direction to declare the district as smoke free. She stated that School of Public Health PGIMER, Chandigarh was entrusted the task of conducting a Compliance survey and Opinion poll to verify
the compliance of COTPA Act, 2003 (Cigarettes & Other Tobacco Products Act) in Mansa.

Dr Sonu Goel, Assistant Professor of Health Management, PGI has in his report concluded that, absence of active smoking and presence of signages was observed in 92.3% and 75.8% public places respectively in Mansa district. She informed that Amritsar and Rupnagar districts  shall be declared as next Smoke free districts of the state. Dr. J P Singh, Director Health Services, Punjab added that this study paved the way for officially declaring Mansa as the second "Smoke Free" district of Punjab in line with District Ajitgarh which was declared as 1st Smoke Free Distt of Punjab. He  revealed that the contents of the study were shared by PGI with the media and other departments & stakeholders.

In a state level fuction held at Mansa Sh. Amit Dhaka, Deputy Commissioner Mansa and Dr.Yash Mitra Civil Surgeon Mansa released the Compliance survey and Opinion poll report of PGI Chandigarh. Dr. S P Surila former Civil Surgeon Mansa who played a key role in ensuring "Smoke Free" Mansa was a special invitee to the event. According to Dr. Rakesh Kumar Gupta, State Programme Officer, Tobacco Control Cell, Punjab, efforts are being made to make entire Punjab "Smoke Free ".

Extracts from PGI Chandigarh Study)
Mohali Public Opines Ban on Smoking at Public Places
Background: Secondhand smoke is one single reason why public space smoking remains an alarming public health hazard. India has enacted smoke free law COTPA in 2005, which prohibits smoking at public places, bans advertisement of tobacco products, prescribes pictorial health warnings on tobacco products etc.
Objectives: With the above background the present study was conducted by the School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh in collaboration with State tobacco cell, Punjab, Generation Saviour Association, Mohali and International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, New Delhi. The objectives of the study was to assess the public support for smoke free initiatives undertaken in Mohali District, Punjab, to ascertain the public understanding of SF legislations and their behaviour regarding smoking and its health effects.
Methodology: This cross sectional study was undertaken in Mohali district among people aged 14 years and above in the month of September & October 2011. A sample size of 1600 respondents was arrived upon. A standardized semi-structured questionnaire was used in the study.
Results: The mean age of the study participants was 32.8 years. Smoking was more in age group of 20-39 years and in males as compared to females. Almost one third of studied population perceive that smoking gives pleasure, 86% believes smoking is harmful for health, 68% perceive that costs related to smoking as economic burden to family. The following bar graphs shows the opinion of people regarding smoking and its ban in public places.
Conclusion: There appears to be good knowledge and strong public support for effective measures to reduce exposure to tobacco smoke in public places.

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