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Call to save youths from ill effects of tobacco use

By STAFF CORRESPONDENT

DIBRUGARH, Jan 22 - The consumer VOICE-Delhi and Consumers� Legal Protection Forum, Assam, working on tobacco control issues, organised a state- level workshop on tobacco control at the Sahityarathi Lakshminath Bezbaroa Bhawan here.

The purpose of the workshop was to sensitise the stakeholders on tobacco control measures, especially to protect the younger generation from ill effects of the burgeoning tobacco menace.

Advocate Ajoy Hazarika, secretary of Consumers� Legal Protection Forum shared key findings of a recent study conducted on tobacco vendors in Dibrugarh, Jorhat and Guwahati. He said that the density of tobacco vendors was too high both in commercial and residential areas, though there was no official record available on the tobacco vendors.

�We found 324 tobacco vendors in 6 wards/areas of 3 cities. Tobacco vendors are violating COTPA 2003. The mandatory warning display board was not found at 67% tobacco point of sale. Tobacco products were displayed openly, amounting to advertisement at every point of sale. Tobacco advertisements were found at 50% point of sale. Sale of loose cigarettes is rampant (around 33%), which frustrates the purpose of pictorial warning in the packets. In all, 87% tobacco vendors were found selling candy, chips etc., products meant to attract children to tobacco shops,� said Hazarika.

He further said that the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare vide a letter dated September 21, 2017 and Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation on September 28, 2018, had issued advisories to all Principal Secretaries/Secretary of Urban Development/Local Self Government) of all States/Union Territories/urban local bodies for ensuring licensing mechanism for tobacco vendors with restriction on sale of candy, chips etc.

He expressed concern that Assam has shown a significant rise of 9% in overall tobacco consumption from 39.3 percent during the last survey in 2009-10 to 48.2 percent now as compared to 6% decline in the national average as per the Global Adult Tobacco Survey Report 2016-17. A discussion on the need to protect the younger generation from the menace of tobacco was held with Dr Simanta Madhab Baruah, Prof of Assam Medical College & Hospital, Dr Riktom Borgohain, District Nodal Officer, Tobacco Control Cell, Dibrugarh and Dr Udayan Baruah, Joint Director of Health Services offered suggestions on the issue, a release stated.

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Call to save youths from ill effects of tobacco use

DIBRUGARH, Jan 22 - The consumer VOICE-Delhi and Consumers� Legal Protection Forum, Assam, working on tobacco control issues, organised a state- level workshop on tobacco control at the Sahityarathi Lakshminath Bezbaroa Bhawan here.

The purpose of the workshop was to sensitise the stakeholders on tobacco control measures, especially to protect the younger generation from ill effects of the burgeoning tobacco menace.

Advocate Ajoy Hazarika, secretary of Consumers� Legal Protection Forum shared key findings of a recent study conducted on tobacco vendors in Dibrugarh, Jorhat and Guwahati. He said that the density of tobacco vendors was too high both in commercial and residential areas, though there was no official record available on the tobacco vendors.

�We found 324 tobacco vendors in 6 wards/areas of 3 cities. Tobacco vendors are violating COTPA 2003. The mandatory warning display board was not found at 67% tobacco point of sale. Tobacco products were displayed openly, amounting to advertisement at every point of sale. Tobacco advertisements were found at 50% point of sale. Sale of loose cigarettes is rampant (around 33%), which frustrates the purpose of pictorial warning in the packets. In all, 87% tobacco vendors were found selling candy, chips etc., products meant to attract children to tobacco shops,� said Hazarika.

He further said that the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare vide a letter dated September 21, 2017 and Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation on September 28, 2018, had issued advisories to all Principal Secretaries/Secretary of Urban Development/Local Self Government) of all States/Union Territories/urban local bodies for ensuring licensing mechanism for tobacco vendors with restriction on sale of candy, chips etc.

He expressed concern that Assam has shown a significant rise of 9% in overall tobacco consumption from 39.3 percent during the last survey in 2009-10 to 48.2 percent now as compared to 6% decline in the national average as per the Global Adult Tobacco Survey Report 2016-17. A discussion on the need to protect the younger generation from the menace of tobacco was held with Dr Simanta Madhab Baruah, Prof of Assam Medical College & Hospital, Dr Riktom Borgohain, District Nodal Officer, Tobacco Control Cell, Dibrugarh and Dr Udayan Baruah, Joint Director of Health Services offered suggestions on the issue, a release stated.

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