There have been repeated discussions about how it is important for us to get our children to understand the ill-effects of consuming tobacco. Again, the State tobacco control cell in Delhi, has written to the NCERT asking them to include a chapter on tobacco control in CBSE schools so as to tackle the menace.
Dr S K Arora, additional director, health government of Delhi said, “Since the last two-and-half-years, I have been writing letters to CBSE and NCRT to introduce a chapter on tobacco control from class 5th to 12th. As, most of the people consume tobacco are under age of 18, this is the schoolgoing age group as they are not aware about its ill effects.
Also, these days tobacco industry considers schoolgoing children as their potential consumers for the future and tries to attract them through advertisements.”
He added, “So, adding a chapter in the syllabus will help to spread awareness. I have received a reply from CBSE saying that they’re willing to create a chapter. But, they are dependent on NCERT because, NCERT publishes books for CBSE. So, I wrote to president of NCERT and they replied that they will put up this matter in the next committee meeting to finalise it. But, it has not been finalise yet,” said Dr Arora.
According to the health department in Delhi, 14.1 per cent of students up to 15 years of age use tobacco products. Out of which, 4.2 per cent smoke cigarettes and others use tobacco in other forms.
“Tobacco kills every 3rd of its consumers. To remain profitable, they need to recruit new consumers. It is well known that kids are the potential users and vulnerable targets of tobacco lobby. As per the survey by Ministry of Health, the mean age of initiation of tobacco is 16 years. Therefore, it is imperative that kids should be empowered to say ‘no’ to tobacco in later stages of primary school itself,” said Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, an Anti-Tobacco Activist, Professor and Surgeon, Tata Memorial Hospital while talking on this matter.