A delegation led by Om Prakash, Member of Parliament from Siwan, Bihar appealed the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind to save children and youth in the country from tobacco addiction and submitted a memorandum to launch a national level campaign for tobacco free education institutions.
Om Prakash along with delegation met Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhawan in Delhi on Wednesday.
He told the President that tobacco consumption is a very serious problem. Children and youth know the ill-effects of consuming tobacco, despite that they are consuming it. He said just running an awareness programme to stop consuming tobacco is not sufficient, but this campaign has to be run at the national level.
He added along with children and youth have to take oath in this campaign that they will not consume tobacco. Youth should be given the responsibility of this campaign then only it will prove relevant and will yield positive results.
Om Prakash said that Sambandh Health Foundation (SHF) and Voice of Tobacco Victim (VOTV) are working throughout the country to make educational institutions tobacco-free, especially in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra the educational institutions have been made tobacco-free and positive results are coming.
According to Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS-2) 2017 report:
- 28.6% people in India use tobacco in some form.
- Every year 10 lakh people are dying due to tobacco related diseases, while everyday 5,500 children throughout the country start consuming tobacco and become addicted before the age of 18, which is a worrying concern.
- 92% of youth agree that smoking is reason of serious diseases, while 96% youth population know that chewing tobacco causes serious diseases.
Seth said only 3% of the people consuming tobacco are able to quit this addiction, therefore it is very important that children are stopped from consuming tobacco for which educational institutions are to be made tobacco free.
He told the President that it can be done by making educational institutions tobacco-free by keeping watch through preventive rules and youth can be saved.
The delegation included Voice of Tobacco Victim director Ashima Sarin, Dr Shiv Choudhary AIIMS, Dr Mudit Agarwal, Vibhor Nizhawan, Pradeep Mathur, Deepak Cheeba, Arvind Mathur among others.