Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 24 (IANS) Kerala’s popular youth icons have appealed to the state government and society to work towards making educational institutions here tobacco-free.
Popular music composer, singer and musician M. Jayachandran, state-award winning actor Parvathy Thiruvothu and Chairman of Kochi-based Startup Village Sanjay Vijayakumar have come together to fight the tobacco menace among youth.
Jayachandran said youngsters start off with cigarettes and tobacco, and soon get lured by drugs. He said, “Educational institutions, which are the grooming grounds for creating responsible citizens, have to be kept tobacco-free.”
Vijayakumar said, “Kerala spends Rs 1,514 crore a year for cure and care of tobacco-induced cancers and other diseases. Educating youngsters about the ill-effects of tobacco use is important and campuses should be kept tobacco-free.”
Parvathy said that any form of substance abuse comes with a lot of humiliation. She said, “I wish the youth of this generation would explore life and experience the high of an addiction-free life.”
The Indian tobacco control law COTPA — Cigarettes or Other Tobacco Products Act 2003 — prohibits smoking in educational institutions and all forms of direct and indirect advertisements, promotion and sponsorships, besides prohibiting sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions.