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Friday, April 19 2024
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Bengaluru

Kids launch awareness campaign for ‘Tobacco Free Children’

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Bengaluru: Freedom Park, a public space in the heart of the city, came alive on Thursday with youngsters from schools and colleges across the city came together for a cause. Slogans such as “Say no to tobacco and save our future,” “Control tobacco for the sake of children” “Implement loose cigarette ban and e-cigarette ban” reverberated the surroundings as a state level campaign titled “Tobacco free Children” was kick-started.

Organised by the Consortium for Tobacco-Free Karnataka(CFTFK), a network of Health Care Institutions, Educational Institutions and civil society organisations, working for the implementation of tobacco control measures in the larger interest of public health, saw participation of around 700 youngsters from around 20 schools and colleges across the city.

Pradyumna, an engineering student from Vemana Institute of Technology thanked the state government for its recent move to ban sale of loose cigarettes, bidi and chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes in state. “Tobacco products are a threat to the future of this country as they result in youngsters not only have adverse effect on their health but also lose focus in their life. We want government departments and ministries related to tobacco trade to commit themselves to implement such measures,” he added.

Chief Guest on the occasion Dr Kripa Amar Alva analysed that tobacco products, especially cigarettes and bidis, if available in the loose form, are a gateway to drug addiction among youngsters. “All children have the right to smoke-free environment and free from addictive substances including tobacco, the State Government is committed to take all measures to protect children and support all other initiatives by health care institutions and civil society organisations in this regard”, She added.

Guest of Honour Mr. Arjun Devaiah an acclaimed International Athlete, Arjuna Awardee & Olympian, called for strict implementation of both loose cigarette and e-cigarette ban to protect health of children. “It is important that youth should understand what is right and wrong for themselves and the society. Keeping themselves physically active, involving in sports keep them healthy. Tobacco consumption at early ages weakens one’s body and mind which will lead to premature deaths, this in turn effects the development of the country. Students are the future of our nation, hence keep away from tobacco and contribute to the progress of our country”, he added.

Dr. Vijayalakshmi Balekundri, Senior cardiologist and Honorary President, CFTFK, said, “The state Government at any cost should not reverse or withdraw the order bowing to any kind of political or any other kind of pressure tactics. It is necessary to make youngsters aware of the serious health impact tobacco consumption can cause to them,” she added.

Mr. S J Chander, Convenor, CFTFK, said building network with schools and colleges throughout the state to create awareness about the tobacco control measures and ill-effects of tobacco is the main aim of the campaign. “Thereby, we aim to make youngsters as champions against the tobacco epidemic,” he pointed out.

C A Ramesh from Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka said “It’s a good initiative and my best wishes for the cause and regarding the tobacco awareness all of us have a greater role to play, even though the ban of cigarettes and other substances in and around schools, it is not been implemented strictly , as a result children’s as young as 8-9 year are found smoking for fun and trial, vendors provide children’s cigarettes even thou it’s a violation, the law and rules has to be implemented strongly, School heads should be given powers to enforce the law with framing certain guidelines.”

Kids launch awareness campaign for 'Tobacco Free Children'
Kids launch awareness campaign for 'Tobacco Free Children'

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