Kerala local bodies to play role in tobacco control

Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 2 (IANS) Local bodies in Kerala are set to join hands in the fight against tobacco following the inclusion of tobacco control as a regular agenda item in the monthly District Development Council meetings chaired by district collectors.

This new turn came when representatives of 200 selected local bodies from all the 14 districts of the state agreed at an orientation session chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to intensify tobacco control measures.

State Health Secretary Rajeev Sadanandan called upon the local bodies to place emphasis on preventing tobacco use initiation by youngsters.

“There should be no laxity in enforcing legislations that prohibit sale of tobacco products to children,” said the official.

V. Ramankutty, professor, Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies of Sree Chitra Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), here said any existing lapses in implementation of Indian tobacco control law Cigarettes or Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 (COTPA) can be set right with the involvement and participation of local bodies.

“World No Tobacco Day, World Health Day can be used to spread awareness through mass runs or street plays, besides support of well known sportspersons or artists can also help to spread the message,” said Ramankutty, son of legendary Kerala Chief Minister C. Achutha Menon.

–IANS

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