Need for Tobacco Control Policy

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SPEAKERS at a seminar organized by Society for the Protection of Rights of the Child (SPARC) emphasized the need to adopt a National Tobacco Control Policy that ensures the reduction in tobacco consumption, improved public health and guarantees child education and nutrition.

Firstly, the advocacy on the part of SPARC against tobacco use to protect children from its harms and making the cities smoke free is really commendable which needs to be emulated by other non governmental organizations in order to save our youth from this silent killer.

Unfortunately, tobacco consumption amongst our youth is very high and this is harming their mental and physical health.

According to some estimates, about one hundred and seventy thousand people die every year because of tobacco-related diseases.

Besides being a deadly substance, it also causes a health burden of Rs 615 billion.Then there are also studies which suggest that those using tobacco also easily become addicts of other drugs.

In this backdrop, framing a holistic national policy against tobacco is need of the hour to save our current and future generations from the harms of tobacco.

Input from organizations such as SPARC should also be taken in order to make such a policy which is comprehensive but also implementable.

As compared to some other countries, especially the European ones, the prices of cigarettes in our country are very low which makes them affordable for the youth.

Hence, increasing taxes on tobacco will be the most effective tool to reduce consumption and generate additional funds for the government which then can be used for the improvement of health facilities in the country.

It is also important to raise awareness amongst the youth about the harms of tobacco through media campaigns.

The media should be encouraged to report evidence of harms caused by the tobacco to the individuals.

 

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