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More than 5,000 children and adolescents start using tobacco daily

J P Nadda

New Delhi:  Independent studies conducted in the country suggest that more than 5,000 children and adolescents start using tobacco daily, the Government today said.

“As per independent studies conducted in India, 5,500 children and adolescents start using tobacco daily,” Health Minister J P Nadda informed the Lok Sabha.

Nadda, in a written reply to a question on sale of tobacco products near educational institutions in Lok Sabha, said that 3,13,079 persons have been “challaned” in different states from April 2012 to December 2014 and an amount of Rs 3,31,79,447 has been collected.

He said that 1,48,708 people were challaned in Karnataka, 71,705 in Andhra Pradesh, 39,914 in Tamil Nadu, 15,741 in Rajasthan and 9,885 in Delhi.

He said that to improve monitoring of enforcement, the Ministry has approved phase-wise expansion of the National Tobacco Control Programme in the country while taking several steps including writing to states to institutionalise COTPA enforcement by including it in the monthly crime review meetings at district level and also making it a part of the social policing agenda.

Guidelines for law enforcers have been developed and disseminated to states, while toll free helpline has been set-up to report specific violations of the provisions under the anti-tobacco law, he said.

The national and regional level advocacy workshops are organised to sensitise law enforcers and stakeholders from different departments on their role in implementation of tobacco control laws and other measures for tobacco control, the Health Minister said.

“The Health Ministry has developed guidelines for Tobacco Free Educational Institutions. These guidelines have been adopted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).

“CBSE has issued a circular in 2009 to all affiliated schools to follow the guidelines relating to protection from exposure to Second Hand Smoke,” he said

Nadda added that the CBSE has issued an advisory last year to all affiliated schools against allowing students to participate in the events sponsored by any firm or a subsidiary of a firm which promotes the use of tobacco in any form.

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