Global Adult Tobacco Survey reveals that in Himachal Pradesh Tobacco use has declined by 24 percent. Survey, which was released today by Additional Chief Secretary (Health) B.K Agarwal, was conducted in 30 different states of the country and Himachal has achieved remarkable achievement and been ranked 6th highest decline in tobacco use.

Global Adult Tobacco Survey is a systematic way of monitoring the use of tobacco among adults and to detect the main component to control the use of tobacco.

The first phase of Global Adult Tobacco Survey survey was conducted in the year 2009 -10, under the supervision of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, while its second phase lasted till the end of 2017.

Additional Chief Secretary said that complete control over tobacco is a daunting task, as it is one of the most heavily used addictive product. We can reduce its use with substantial efforts.

Agarwal expressed satisfaction over the fact that Shimla was declared the First Tobacco Free City in the country and soon after entire Himachal has been declared tobacco free. However, he said that it is conspicuous that tobacco is harmful for health but its production has not been successfully reduced which is definitely a matter of concern. He emphasized a need to make common masses aware that tobacco has devastating harmful effects on overall health.

He said that the aim of State Government is to make the H. P Secretariat and University campus completely tobacco free, so that the other institutions of the state can follow them too.

Rs 1.50 crore was collected through challans

Additional Chief Secretary said that the amount of Rs 1.50 crore was collected through challans of 1.30 lakh people and this amount will be spent on Tobacco Control Programs in the state.

Dr. Alok Ranjan from Mumbai’s Tata Institution of Social Sciences said that 16 percent of people in Himachal Pradesh are consuming tobacco whereas this is 28.6 percent in the country. Lot of people are consuming bidi and around 70 lakh people die every year from tobacco worldwide. Tobacco damages every organ of our body. Smokeless tobacco keeps the risk of lung cancer, while the consumption of other products leads to throat cancer, Dr. Ranjan further added.

State Program Officer Dr. Gopal Chauhan said that our goal is to bring down the number of people consuming tobacco below 10 percent.

Director Health Services Dr. Baldev Thakur said that it is our goal to make Himachal Pradesh Tobacco free. He urged the common man, especially the youth to contribute in this work. He called upon the youth to stay away from narcotics and make their lives successful. He said that any goal can be achieved with strong will.

Mission Director National Health Mission, Chief Medical Officers of different districts, Representatives of doctors, Volunteer Organizations and Members of the media were also present in this occasion.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.