Anti-Tobacco Law Enforcement Squads Soon
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21 April 2010
Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar will soon have anti–tobacco law enforcement squads set up by the state Tobacco Control Cell. This was announced at a function by Bhavin Modi of the cell, who added that staffers for the squad are being trained with the help of International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung disease (IUATLD). The function was held in Ahmedabad on Monday for counselling patients in Primary Health Centres (PHCs) on ill effects of tobacco. Here, state Health Minister Jay Narayan Vyas launched a ‘Health Workers’ Guide’.
“The tobacco cell plans to form enforcement squads in all parts of the state. Each squad will have a representative from the Health department, police department and NGOs for enforcing anti–tobacco laws,” Modi added. Shalini Vallabhan, South Asia head of IUATLD, said: “We are already running a smoke–free cam paign for the state. Now, the Health Minister has launched the `Health Workers’ Guide’ for public awareness and counselling of patients coming to PHCs. We will translate it into Gujarati in a week’s time.”
Vallabhan, who has been instrumental in designing and writing the health guide, said, "Gujarat will be the first state to translate the guide, which has a training module, under the guidance of Dr R K Srivastava, Director, General Health Services." The health guide talks about major diseases caused by tobacco. It also has sections to help people quit tobacco and enforce laws against it.
“Sixty per cent of men and 8.4 per cent of women in the state consume tobacco. A survey shows that 29.3 per cent of boys and 4.3 per cent of girls studying in classes VIII to X consume tobacco. They get into the habit of chewing tobacco in an attempt to look fashionable among their peers.”