Towards a united stand against public smoking
Thiruvananthapuram: Senior ranking officials of the State Government and respected social influencers will join forces to demonstrate the importance of collective and multi-sectoral efforts to control the hazardous health issue of public smoking.
The event ‘United We Stand against Public Smoking’ being organised by Tobacco Free Kerala (TFK) – a coalition working for tobacco control in Kerala chaired by Hon’ble Health Minister Shri VS Sivakumar – will also mark the completion of five years of laws prohibiting smoking in public places.
Shri A Shajahan IAS, General Education Secretary, GoK will talk about the implementation of smoke-free rules in educational institutions at the function to be held at SMV Higher Secondary School here on October 9, 10 am.
Shri A Hemachandran IPS, Addl. Director General of Police (South Zone) will speak on the topic ‘Creating tobacco free educational institutions – Role of Police’. Dr AS Pradeep Kumar, Addl. Director of Health Services, GoK will explain about the laws against public smoking and the importance of its implementation. Dr PG Balagopal, Associate Professor, Regional Cancer Centre here will make a presentation on ‘Harms of tobacco use.’
Shri G Suresh Kumar, noted film producer will administer the pledge to school students against tobacco use. Smt Menaka Suresh, actress and producer will offer felicitations.
Smt Ushakumari V, Headmistress, SMV HSS will make the welcome address and Shri S Jayaraj, State Coordinator, TFK will propose thanks.
Law against public smoking called ‘Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places Rules, 2008’ under Section 4 of India’s tobacco control legislation COTPA, 2003 took effect from 2 October 2008. As per this, it is the duty of the owner, proprietor, manager or supervisor or incharge of affairs of public place to keep the area under his jurisdiction smoke-free.
Public place is defined by Section 3 (l) of COTPA as any place to which the public has access whether as of right or not and includes all places visited by the general public. Among the list of public places are included public offices, public conveyances, educational institutions, hospital buildings, hotels, restaurants, coffee houses, pubs, bars, refreshment rooms, workplaces and railway stations.
According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) 2009 of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 18.7 per cent of adults above 15 in Kerala are exposed to second-hand smoking in public places. Another 17.5 per cent are exposed to passive smoking at the workplace, also a public place under COTPA.
According to the WHO, second-hand smoke in adults causes serious cardiovascular and respiratory diseases including coronary heart disease and lung cancer. In infants, it causes sudden death and in pregnant women, it causes low birth weight. WHO also states that there is “no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke” and creating 100 per cent smoke-free environments is the only way to protect people from the harmful effects of second-hand tobacco smoke. Ends