Chandigarh: Aiming to curve the availability of drugs near educational institutions, which has become a big threat to the country and visibly destroying the present generation at large, the Himachal Pradesh government is mulling to enforce complete ban on sale of tobacco near educational institutions.

Himachal Pradesh Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur, while addressing the concluding session of Orientation and Capacity Building Workshop organized under National Tobacco Control Programme at Chandigarh today, urged society to contribute towards generating awareness about the ill effects of tobacco and added that PRIs representatives and NGOs could play a significant role in this direction.

Thakur, said that Himachal Pradesh was the first smoke free State among large States in the country. He said that effective steps were being taken for Tobacco control and sale of single cigarette has been banned in the State.

He added that some of the initiatives of Himachal Pradesh were followed by various other States also and added that WHO had also appreciated the efforts of the State Government. The State also received the WHO SEARO Award for tobacco control, he added.

Thakur said that there was an effective government and NGO partnership in Himachal Pradesh for tobacco control which has emerged as one of the best models in the country. He said that 7500 Asha Workers and PRIs representatives were imparted training for generating awareness about tobacco control in the State.

He urged that all the States to take effective steps to check tobacco consumption.

Representatives from Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi Uttrakhand, Jammu & Kashmir and UT Chandigarh participated in the workshop.