Gurugram leads Haryana to prevent initiation of tobacco in children

Gurugram: As per the GATS Report released by the MoHFW (2010), nearly 43 lac adults (15+) consume tobacco in some or the other form in Haryana. One-third of them will suffer from serious illnesses such as cancer, heart diseases, lung cancers etc and will die prematurely. Haryana witnesses 14,800 deaths every year due to tobacco related diseases. The hazards of tobacco are wide ranging. There’s no body part which is not affected by it. 
In Gurugram, a campaign run by Sambandh Health Foundation in collaboration with the Voice of Tobacco Victims (VoTV) and supported by Fortis is proving to be successful. Under the leadership of the Gurugram Police Commissioner Sh. Sandeep Khirwar, more than 2300 challans have been made in Gurugram for violations of the Cigarettes & Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) in the last 8 months (June 2016). All the 23 police stations in Gurugram are actively taking action for such violations. During a press conference today, he said, “the Police is fully supportive of this campaign and ready to do anything which saves our future generations.” Poster on tobacco control laws was also launched during this event. He further said that we will also do a drive specially for JJ Act implementation, which focuses children.
Sambandh’s Trustee, Sanjay Seth said that he had talked to various people who were challaned and found that even those were in favour of such initiatives. The first case of Section 77 of Juvenile Justice Act just shook the tobacco traders in Sadar Bazar, Gurugram. The JJ Act has stern penalties for anyone who gives tobacco to a minor with a fine of upto Rs.1 lac and 7 years of imprisonment. Haryana became the second state in India to make a case under JJ Act for tobacco.  Because of Gurugram Police action during the last 8 months, there has been a lot of awareness in the city for not smoking in public places.
ACP Dhaarna Yadav has led the action against “those who play with lives of children by selling tobacco to them.” Challaning in public places in Gurugram - Sector 29 of DLF did 227 challans, Sushant Lok 140 challans, DLF Phase-I 68 challans, DLF Phase-II 112 challans, Sector-56 190 challans, Sector 40 did 96 challans, Sadar Bazar 142 challans, Sector-5 - 69 challans, Palam Vihar 110 challans, Rajendra Park 36 challans, Udhyog Vihar 94 challans, Sector 17/18 did 128 challans, Sector 10A did 168 challans, city Police Station 26 challans, Civil Lines 66 challans, Bilaspur 26 challans, Manesar 75 challans, Badshahpur 50 challans, Bhondsi 15 challans, Sohna 31 challans, Farukhnagar 12 challans, Pataudi 22 challans, Khirki Daula 69 challans, Metro 122 challans, Railway Station Gurugram 208 challans.  

Welcoming the move to extend this campaign to Haryana from Gurugam, Fortis Foundation’s, Mudita Lall said, “our aim is to save lives of children who are impacted by tobacco. 116 children initiating tobacco per day is an alarming number. It is high time, to not only strategize but also to implement preventive measures.”  
Eminent Cancer Surgeon, Director Oncology and VoTV patron from Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI) Dr Vedant Kabra said, “We do the treatment after the disease has occurred but COTPA implementation will prevent our children from initiating tobacco as action by police makes a lot of difference as is seen in Gurugram.” 
Tobacco use increases the risk for many types of cancer, such as lung cancer. Studies show a direct link between cigarette smoking and coronary heart disease. Smoking, including during the teenage years, increases the risk of dying from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk for pregnancy complications. There’s no body part which is not affected by tobacco use.  
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