Mumbai, The Home Minister of Maharashtra, Dr. Ranjit Patil has said that there are many laws present in Maharashtra to prevent the consumption of tobacco by children, especially the presence of COTPA (Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act. 2003) and Juvenile Justice Act. The COTPA and JJ Act will be implemented strictly by the police to ensure a safe future for the children.
Dr. Patil addressed the issue of saving children from tobacco use at a program organized by Sambandh Health Foundation (SHF) and TATA Memorial Hospital at the hospital on the occasion of Children’s Day.
The Home Minister of Maharashtra, Dr. Ranjit Patil has said that despite the prohibition of selling tobacco products within a radius of 100 yards from the school premises, tobacco products are being openly sold. For this reason 100 yards is not enough, strict measures need to be taken to stop the sale of tobacco products in the village, locality and the cities.
A meeting will be held with Police top officials for tobacco control.
Dr. Patil has said that a meeting will be held with all the police officials where they will be guided on the process for tobacco control. Along with this a report on the progress made as per COTPA in the state will be taken. He also said that a letter will be sent to all police officials in the state asking for all the work that has been done in the field of tobacco control. This will also be included in the Monthly crime analysis.
Dr. Patil said that a helpline will be started where anyone can call and report the unauthorized sale and consumption of tobacco in a restricted place. The name and address of these information providers will be kept anonymous.
Director of Tata Memorial Hospital Mr. Rajendra A. Badwe said that a mere 3% of people who consume tobacco products are able to quit tobacco whereas the rest 97% of the people are only able to think of quitting. Every fifth child in Maharashtra is consuming tobacco in some form or the other which is a matter of concern. He has said that out of all the cancer patients that come to the hospital 30% of the patients are below the age of 30. 72,000 people die every year due to tobacco use whereas 529 children initiate the use of tobacco every day.
76480 schools become tobacco free.
Sambandh Health Foundation’s trustee Mr. Sanjay Seth Has said that 76480 schools have become tobacco free in Maharashtra. Work for this is being carried out throughout the country. He added that if the children are made aware of the dangers of tobacco use at the school level the chances of them starting it in the future decreases.
Tata Memorial Hosspital’s Cancer surgeon Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi said that according to GATS-2(Global Adult Tobacco Survey) 2017, almost 28.6% of people in India consume tobacco in some form or the other which is a very alarming situation. Seeing the 85% of warning on the packets 61.9% of cigarette smokers and 53.8% of the people have thought about quitting tobacco, whereas in 2009-10 38% of Cigarette smokers and 29.3% of bidi smokers had thought about quitting tobacco.
17 lakh Children are connected to the tobacco industry.
In the course of the program organized on the occasion of Children’s day it has come to the everyone’s attention that atleast 17lakh children are involved in the tobacco industry in Maharashtra in some form or the other which is a matter of grave concern. Mr. Tehring Bhutia from Salaam Bacche Foundation working on protecting children from tobacco said that working with kids is the most effective way of protecting our future generations.