Trivandrum, 27 May – Displaying solidarity for Kerala’s better public health through reduction in tobacco use, Government bodies and civil society groups have joined hands to observe World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) 2016 with the theme ‘Get ready for plain packaging’ that falls on 31 May.
A united call to make Kerala’s educational institutions tobacco free in the interest of students – our future – and in the interest of public health forms the premise of this year’s WNTD in the state, said
Dr Paul Sebastian, Director, Regional Cancer Centre at a press conference here today to announce WNTD programmes.
Hon’ble Minister for Health and Family Welfare Smt KK Shyalaja will inaugurate the event to be held at Regional Cancer Centre, 9 am. Hon’ble Minister for Power & Devaswom Shri Kadakampally Surendran will preside.
Keynote address by Addl Chief Secretary (Health & Family Welfare) Shri Rajeev Sadanandan and address by Director, Subhodham, Government of Kerala Dr K Ambady are the other highlights.
The half-day-long programme will feature informative talks designed to bring out the various facets of tobacco control in Kerala from past to present. It will include topics such as "Battle against tobacco - the RCC experience” and “Relevance of tobacco cessation programmes in India”.
A session on “Legal aspects of tobacco control” will set the base for a panel discussion on the topic “Towards Tobacco Free Educational Institutions in Kerala – Experiences, Challenges & Plans Ahead”. Representatives of Health, Police, Education departments and civil society groups will deliberate on the subject.
Dr. AS Pradeep Kumar, Former Addl. Director of Health Services & Senior Research Officer, Achutha Menon Centre for Health Sciences Studies of SCTIMST appealed to the Government to intensify efforts to make Kerala’s educational institutions tobacco free. Explaining the technicalities of plain packaging, he said that they have to be without logos, colours, brand images or promotional information.
Dr Bipin Gopal, Assistant Director of Health Services and State Nodal Officer, NTCP and NCD said that along with the state-level inauguration, district-level activities will be held in connection with WNTD. Tobacco free educational institutions would be the thrust area of year-long activities of the Health Department, he added.
Hon. Secretary, Regional Cancer Association Dr Babu Mathew said that their media award for best article on cancer to Shri Santhosh Sisupalan, Senior Sub Editor, ‘Manorama Arogyam’ will be given away on WNTD event. The award carries a cash prize of Rs 11,111, citation and memento. The award-winning article appeared in the April 2015 edition of the magazine.
Dr PG Balagopal, Addl Professor, RCC was also present in the press conference. WNTD is observed annually on 31 May to highlight health risks of tobacco use and put forth effective policies to reduce consumption of this deadly substance.
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