Srinagar: State Tobacco Cell Directorate of Health Services Kashmir with technical support from the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, South East Asia Office New Delhi Tuesday organized a State-level tobacco control workshop in Srinagar for District level officers of NTCP and Education of all the districts
Administrative Secretary, Health and Medical Education Department Bhupender Kumar was chief guest on the occasion while Director Health Services Kashmir, Dr Mushatq Ahmad Rather was guest of honour. Speaking on the occasion, the chief guest said tobacco and drug abuse are challenging things not only for the department but for the entire country. This is an important aspect of health that need to be focused. He said that more focus should be given on awareness and we should focus on preventive and promotive health care. “We should involve religious leaders, school teachers, students, NGOs in the society for generating awareness among the people regarding the disease.
“No legislation and laws can help us in achieving the goal unless and until the society as whole does not start working or anti-tobacco measures to be taken at all levels,” he said. Bhupender Kumar appreciated Director Health Services Kashmir for starting such programs and said that in future also such programs should be held all over the valley so that more and more awareness is generated against tobacco use. He said the fight against tobacco should be integrated with mental issues and we should have a holistic approach because it is the mental health issues which ultimately make people to go towards drug addiction and tobacco abuse.
On the occasion, Director Health Services Kashmir, Dr Mushatq Ahmad Rather was National Tobacco Control Programme at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt of India is responsible for overall policy formulation, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of different activities envisaged under NTCP.
NTCP started in Jammu and Kashmir in the month of December with an aim to create awareness about the harmful effects of Tobacco, reduce production and supply of Tobacco products, implementation of COTPA, tobacco Cessation and WHO-FCTC framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
“Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the world. It kills approximately more than seven million globally and more than one million in India,” he said.
While quoting, Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2016-2017 conducted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, he said the overall tobacco users above the age of fifteen years are estimated to be 28.6% at National Level.
He also said that in Jammu and Kashmir, the total prevalence of Tobacco users is estimated to be 23.7%.
“Another Survey namely Global Youth Tobacco Survey which was conducted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in the year 2019 (Age group of 13-15 years), the prevalence of Tobacco has decreased from 14.2% to 8.5% at national level. In Jammu and Kashmir, it has reduced from 14.2% to 11.2%,” he said.
The director said the workshop is aimed to bring together all the stakeholders of NTCP and Education on a common platform so that they can be sensitized regarding health hazards of Tobacco and implementation of Tobacco Control Laws. “Too much smoke will leave you broke. Burn calories not cigarettes, cigarettes burn holes in your pocket,” he added.
The program was aimed to orient and sensitise the stakeholders regarding effective implementation of Tobacco Control lLaws and MIS (Management Informatics System), Online Reporting System of the National Tobacco Control Programme.
It was also aimed to create awareness about the harmful effects of Tobacco consumption, ensure effective implementation of the provisions of COTPA-2003 and to sensitise the stakeholders regarding Tobacco Vendor licensing and Tobacco-free generations besides facilitating the implementation of strategies for prevention and Control of Tobacco advocated by WHO-FCTC.
Others who attended the workshop included Deputy Director, HQ, Kashmir, Dr Nishat Shaheen, Divisional Nodal Officer, NTCP, Jammu, Dr Mridula Singh, Deputy Director Dentistry, Dr Jahanzaib, District Nodal Officers, NTCP and District Programme Management, Unit of NTCP of J&K.