Wednesday, October 14, 2009

46.1% of School children are using tobacco in Sikkim

Gangtok, October 14 : Voluntary Health Association of Sikkim, (VHAS), with support from Voluntary Health Association of India, (VHAI), New Delhi, has been working towards making ‘Sikkim a Smoke Free State' through key focus areas like media advocacy, policy focused research capacity building, networking, coalition building, formation of state level resource centre, monitoring and reporting of violations, building smoke free zones and developing advocacy materials. The endeavor is to persistently work towards educating the Sikkimese society towards smoke free environment.

Health problem due to tobacco is enormous. Globally, it kills 1 in every 2 tobacco smokers in productive years of life, 54 Lakhs (5.4 million) people die annually due to tobacco consumption which is greatest preventable killer disease. In India it kills 8-9 Lakhs and poor spend 10 to 20% of money on Tobacco. In Sikkim, 46.1% (almost half) of School children have reported using some form of tobacco. 75% of deaths are due to Non Communicable Diseases and tobacco is major cause for the same.

Public Awareness campaigns are being organized regularly by VHAS in various places of Sikkim. In order to see the provisions of the National Tobacco Control Act, 2003, are not being violated by the mass, the anti tobacco staff of VHAS has been regularly visiting public places in the State.

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