State Level Dissemination Workshop on Tobacco Control in Dibrugarh - NEWS SENTRY


Saturday, 19 January 2019

State Level Dissemination Workshop on Tobacco Control in Dibrugarh

Dibrugarh : Consumer VOICE, Delhi and Consumers’ Legal Protection Forum, Assam working on tobacco control issues in the state of Assam, today organised State Level workshop on tobacco control at Sahityarathi Lakhminath Bezbaruah Bhawan, Dibrugarh. The purpose of the event was sensitization of stakeholder on tobacco control measures, especially to protect young generation from tobacco menace. Advocate Ajoy Hazarika, Secretary, Consumers’ Legal Protection Forum shared key findings of a recent study conducted about tobacco vendors in Dibrugarh, Jorhat and Guwahati. He told that, the density of tobacco vendors is too high in both commercial and residential areas and there is no record available of tobacco vendors. We found 324 tobacco vendors in 6 wards/areas of 3 cities. Tobacco vendors are violating COTPA, 2003. Mandatory warning display board was not found at 67% tobacco point of sale. Tobacco products are displayed openly, amounting to advertisements at every point of sale. Tobacco advertisements were found at 50% point of sale. Sale of loose cigarettes is rampant (around 33 %), which frustrate purpose of pictorial warning at package. 87 % Tobacco vendors were found Selling candy, chips etc. the products meant for and to attract children/youth to tobacco shops. He suggested to develop a mechanism of tobacco vendor licensing in Assam by Municipalities to control in tobacco consumption. The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, vide letter dated 21 st September’ 17 and Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation on Sept. 28, 2018 issued advisories to all Principal Secretary/Secretary Urban Development/ Local Self Government) of all States/UTs/ Urban Local Bodies for ensuring licensing machnisom for tobacco vendors with restriction on sale of candy, chips etc. He expressed concern that Assam has shown a significant rise of 9 % in overall tobacco consumption from 39.3 percent during the last survey in 2009-10 to 48.2 percent now compared to 6 % decline in national average as per Global Adult Tobacco Survey report 2016-17. There was a panel discussion on the Needs and strategies for protecting young generation from the menace of tobacco where Dr. Simanta Madhab Baruah, Professor, Assam Medical College Hospital; Dr. Riktom Borgohain, District Nodal Officer, Tobacco Control Cell, Dibrugarh and Dr. Udayan Baruah, Joint Director of Health, Services, Dibrugarh gave their valuable suggestions on the issue. Mukul Chandra Deka, Vice Chairman, Dibrugarh Municipal Board speaking on the Role of municipal bodies in tobacco control. The workshop was attended by more than 50 Health experts, tobacco control officials, youth icons, officials from Municipal Corporation, students leaders, media, students, Resident Welfare Associations, CSOs and activists working on tobacco control, Consumer and Child right issues.

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