Resolve to abstain from tobacco


Dr. Harsh Vardhan led the resolve to abstain from tobacco on the occasion of 'World No Tobacco Day' 2021

Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan presided over a program on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day today. In this event he led the resolution to avoid tobacco of all those present. Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey participated in this program through virtual medium.

resolve to abstain from tobacco

Dr. Harsh Vardhan expressed his satisfaction on this occasional event. He said, "Over 1.3 million deaths in India are due to tobacco use every year, this is 3500 deaths per day, which puts a lot of socio-economic burden." Apart from the deaths and diseases caused by it, tobacco also affects the economic development of the country. ” He further added that smokers face a 40-50 per cent higher risk of serious illness deaths due to COVID-19. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) study “Economic cost of diseases and deaths due to tobacco use in India”, it has been estimated that the economic burden of tobacco use diseases and deaths in India is Rs 1.77 lakh crore. Was, which is about 1 percent of GDP.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan outlined the country's long history of continuous reduction in the tobacco consuming population through legal and administrative means. He further said, "The tobacco control law in India is older than the 'Cigarette Act, 1975' which mandates the display of statutory health warnings in advertisements and on cartons and packets of cigarettes."

The Union Health Minister recalled his long fight against tobacco at every step of his career. He said, “As the Health Minister of Delhi, I had the opportunity to envision the ‘Delhi Prohibition of Smoking and Non-Smokers Health Protection Act’ and it was passed in the Delhi Legislative Assembly in 1997. The same Act was passed by the Supreme Court in 2002. It became the model of the Central Act banning smoking in public places, followed by the Comprehensive Tobacco Control Law [Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertising and Regulation of Trade, Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act in 2003. - COTPA, 2003] was created, which aims to provide a smoke-free public space and to ban the advertisement and promotion of tobacco. Dr. Recognizing Harshvardhan's contribution, he was also praised all over the world for this historic endeavor. He received the WHO Director-General's Medal of Commendation and Certificate of Commendation in May-1998 at a ceremony held in Rio-de-Janeiro, Brazil, for working for a tobacco-free society.

He expressed satisfaction that with the sustained efforts of the Central Government and the State Governments, the prevalence of tobacco use has come down from 34.6 per cent in 2009-10 to 28.6 per cent in 2016-17.

On the government's firm political commitment to curb tobacco use, he said, "When I took over as Union Health Minister, at that time I decided to deal with the threat of e-cigarettes and the 'Electronic Cigarette Prohibition Bill, 2019' It prohibits the production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertising of e-cigarettes. The exemplary leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi convinced various stakeholders and allowed this bill to be passed smoothly in Parliament in 2019. The government's continued efforts have contributed to save the country from the threat of e-cigarettes, which could have badly affected the teenage population. ”

Dr. Harsh Vardhan also spoke about the proliferation of calls for tobacco quitline services. He said, “We have toll free quit line services – 1800-112-356, which was started in 2016 and has been extended in September, 2018. Quiet line services are now available from 4 centers in 16 languages ​​and other local dialects. The number of calls on Quit Line was 20,500 per month before expansion which has increased to 2.50 lakh calls per month after expansion.” He reiterated his appeal to the people to quit using tobacco and tobacco products.

The Union Health Minister spoke on the ambitious goals of the National Health Policy - 2017 regarding tobacco control. He said, "We have set an ambitious target to reduce tobacco use by 30 percent by 2025. Our tobacco control targets are designed keeping in mind the goals of control of non-communicable diseases and are in line with the targets set under the SDGs. We will soon release the findings of the fourth round of the Global Youth Tobacco Survey among school-going 13-15 year olds.”

He thanked all other partner organisations, ministry officials, grassroots workers and especially the WHO for the benefits that have been achieved by reducing tobacco use so far. Dr. Harsh Vardhan thanked the Director General of WHO for recognizing his services and for conferring the Director General's Special Recognition Award in 2021 for the work the Ministry of Health has done on tobacco control in 2021. Each year , the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes individuals or organizations in each of the six WHO regions (AFRO AMRO, EURO, WPRO, EMRO and SEAR ) for their achievements in the field of tobacco control .

The program was attended by Additional Secretary (Health), Smt. Aarti Ahuja, Additional Secretary (Health), Vikas Sheel and other senior officials.

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