Delhi government plans a ‘dry day’ for smokers. There will be no sale of tobacco or related products on the last day of every month.
This is being projected as a drive against tobacco use, and a campaign to generate awareness about tobacco’s harmful effects. The government has also decided to take up the issue of enhancing tobacco taxes with the state-empowered committee, an official said, adding that the decision was taken in a meeting of the state-level coordination committee for tobacco control headed by chief secretary S K Srivastava.
“This concept started in 2013 when we asked vendors not to sell tobacco and related products on the last day of every month as a voluntary effort,” said Dr N V Kamat, director, health services. He hoped that this way, Delhi will be a tobacco-free state.
Tobacco consumption is increasing at an alarming rate in Delhi. As per the Global Adults Tobacco Survey 2010, about 40.9% men and 3.7% women use any form of tobacco products in the city. About 30% men were found to be smokers as compared to 1.1% women. The average age of initiation of tobacco use was found to be 19 years and three months.
Srivastava has ordered for strict implementation of the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act 2003, and to curb the growth of hookah bars and sale of tobacco.
On Friday, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan will flag off a rally of 200 schoolchildren from Nirman Bhavan to commemorate ‘World No Tobacco Day’, which is on May 31.
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