Clinical psychologists call for creating a brand of tobacco free educational institutions in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram, September 28 – Clinical psychologists of Kerala attached to the Indian Association of Clinical Psychologists (IACP) have called upon the Government to make tobacco free educational institutions a brand in the state. Parents should be able to send children to educational institutions without any apprehension of their falling for dangerous tobacco use at a tender age, they aver.
In the wake of the recent Global Burden of Disease Study that said smoking killed 7.1 million in 2016, the 600-member-strong IACP-Kerala feels that the state can be a worthy example to the rest of the world by creating a brand of tobacco free educational institutions. It has called for a combination of measures including enforcement and stakeholder involvement to achieve this public health-friendly goal.
Dr Sany Varghese, President of the Association said, “In our day-to-day clinical practice, we are witness to unfortunate cases of children going astray following addiction to tobacco use. Criminal tendencies and even suicidal tendencies are reported in some students.”
Licenses of shops selling tobacco products near educational institutions should be cancelled to cut out supply of these products, Dr Sany pointed out.
Association Secretary Dr Gitanjali Natarajan said, “Youngsters have told us how they sneak in tobacco products to schools without the knowledge of their parents and teachers. What initially starts as an entertaining pastime, many a times ends up in loss of youthful years to disease.”
Dr S.Satheesh Nair, Former President of IACP Kerala and President of Government Clinical Psychologists Association noted, “Parents should inculcate a culture of asking children how they spend their pocket money. Tobacco free educational institutions are a must if the future of our state and country has to be rid from the life-long burden of tobacco-induced maladies.”
The President also extended a helping hand to educational institutions that need counselling support to wean off youngsters hooked on to tobacco use among students.   

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