Saturday, 15 July 2017

State Tobacco Control Cell organizes State Level Sensitization Workshop for Strict Implementation of Juvenile Justice Act

By 121 News

Chandigarh 15th July:- A State Level Sensitization Workshop for strict implementation of Juvenile Justice Act and anti-Tobacco Laws regarding Sale & Purchase of Tobacco Products to Minors was organized by State Tobacco Control Cell, Punjab at the State Institute of Health & Family Welfare Mohali under the chairpersonship of Ms. Anjali Bhawra, Principal Secretary, Health & Family Welfare, Punjab Varun Roojam,  Commissioner, Food & Drugs Administration, Punjab, Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, Prof Head & Neck Surgery Tata Memorial Centre,  Mumbi, Dr Sonu Goel, Associate Professor PGI Chandigarh ,  State & District Nodal Officers from all stakeholder departments were present. Officers from the Police department were present in large number.

Anjali Bhawra, said on the occasion that the objective of State Level Sensitization Workshop was to sensitize the policy makers, high level officials and other stakeholder departments regarding strict implementation of Juvenile Justice Act and anti-Tobacco Laws regarding Sale & Purchase of Tobacco Products to Minors. It is duty of all the stakeholder departments to make people aware about the ill effects of Tobacco Use. Recently an extensive anti tobacco campaign was launched by Health Minister Punjab on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day. She congratulated State & District tobacco Control Cell for their achievements for the tobacco control. 

Varun Roojam told that all 22 districts of Punjab have been declared as "Tobacco Smoke Free" on the basis of compliance study done by PGIMER Chandigarh. He told that more than 375 Villages have declared themselves as "Tobacco Free Villages" by passing the resolution. He said that all the required measures will be taken to firmly implement the ban on the sales of gutkha, and pan masala (without tobacco) with flavored chewing tobacco in separate sachets but often conjoint and sold together by the same vendors from the same premises. He said that the whole purpose of the workshop is to sensitize various departments to work in unison to implement anti-tobacco laws in better way. He also elaborated that on the occassion of World No Tobacco Day, in district Jalandhar, a tobacco vendor was hauled under Juvenile Justice Act for selling cigarettes to a minor.

Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi made a presentation regarding protection of minors from tobacco/ nicotine addiction. He told that 50% of all the cancers and 60-70% of the heart diseases are caused by tobacco use. He said that Police is prime stakeholder department for the enforcement of Juvenile Justice Act to protect the minors from tobacco use. As per Section 77 of Juvenile Justice Act  "Whoever gives causes to be given, to any child ant narcotic drug or tobacco products shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment of seven years and fine upto One lakh.

Dr Sonu Goel, Additional Professor, School of Public Health, PGIMER Chandigarh presented on the compliance study done by PGIMER Chandigarh regarding implementation of all sections of COTPA in all 22 districts. 16 districts were found to be fully COTPA Compliant during the study. He said that there is 80-85% improvement as compared to the previous study. High COTPA Complaint districts were honored. 

Dr. Rakesh Gupta State Programme Officer State Tobacco Control Cell, talked about the various laws and provisions related to tobacco control. He further said that Punjab has lowest prevalence of tobacco use in country according to the National Family Health Survey-4 (NFHS-4) data (2015-16). With reduction in prevalence of Tobacco in males by 14.6%, we are now aiming at "End game tobacco" by further reducing prevalence of tobacco use. 

DSP Mohali, Amroz said about work done by the Police department regarding the tobacco control in Punjab. He said that as per the provisions of JJ act; Juvenile board should be constituted which will deal with all the cases of Juveniles. Every Police station should have Child welfare officers. He further told that smoking while driving is banned under Motor vehicle Act.  Officials in Saanjh  kenders should make people aware about the ill effects of Tobacco.

Representatives from various NGOs participated in the workshop. They all promised to work in collaboration with Government for the strict implementation of Anti Tobacco Laws.