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Monday, May 30, 2011

Gujarat Govt goes online to warn people of tobacco hazards

According to latest reports, 80% males and 40% females take tobacco in different forms in India and roughly 50,00000 children get habituated to tobacco every year in the country.

In India 10 lakh deaths occur every year due to consumption of tobacco. The death toll is projected to reach more than 8 million by the end of the century if the current trend continues.
Gujarat is known as one of the states in the country for the highest use and production of tobacco and its product.

Gujarat Health Minister Jayanarayan Vyas announced 'Tobacco Free Gujarat' campaign. The campaign will cover all 26 districts of the state and a fund of Rs. 3 crores had been allotted for the year 2011-12.

Giving an overview of the activities carried out under the government tobacco control programme, Vyas said that a pilot project is on in Sabarkantha and Vadodara districts since 2008, while another project 'Smoke-free Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar', has been initiated in 2009.

Vyas also launched a website ( as a part of the campaign, to spread information about the deadly products and its effects.. "This year, we have allotted Rs 3 crore under the programme to cover all the 26 districts and seven municipal corporations," said Vyas.
Five vans with flying squads facilitating the awareness campaigns as well as for implementation of laws against tobacco consumption in public places will also be deployed.

The flying squads will include a police sub-inspector along with health officials and the vans will start functioning in Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar from May 31, which marks the 'World No-Tobacco Day'.

At the launch of the website for tobacco control, minister of health and family welfare, Jaynarayan Vyas, said the fight against tobacco is more critical than even the war against terrorism.

The minister also said that the health department is carrying out a research in consultation with the agriculture department to provide alternative cash crops to farmers growing tobacco.

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