Health Ministry to accelerate tobacco control measures

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare today inaugurated the two-day National Consultation on Accelerating Implementation of Tobacco Control Measures for achievement of Goals under National Health Policy, 2017 in presence of Smt Anupriya Patel, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare to commemorate the World No Tobacco Day, 2018.

Smt. Preeti Sudan, Secretary (Health), Shri Sanjeeva Kumar, Additional Secretary and Promila Gupta, DGHS, Ms Payden, Acting Deputy WHO representative to India were also present at the occasion.

Addressing the participants, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey said that we should have an addiction-free India that includes Tobacco-free India. He made an appeal for “Nasha Mukti Abhiyaan”. He further added that we need community mobilization to encourage people to give up tobacco consumption. “Tobacco destroys families and communities. We need to start a nationwide abhiyaan- people’s movement, to combat tobacco use”, he said.

Shri Choubey also made a strong call for accelerating tobacco control measures for achievement of the goals under National Health Policy, 2017. He observed that tobacco use is a leading cause of premature, NCD-associated mortality and morbidity, and a growing public health challenge. He further said that while many people are aware tobacco use increases the risk of cancer, there are alarming gaps in knowledge of the cardiovascular risks of tobacco use. “I look forward to the suggestions that will emerge from the two-day national consultation, to help us move forward in tobacco control measures”, Shri Choubey elaborated.

Smt Anupriya Patel said that tobacco epidemic is a major public health challenge in India, and flavored smokeless tobacco usage in India is very high. She stated that concerted strong political commitment and targeted action over the last decade have contributed to commendable achievements in pushing back the tobacco epidemic.

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