World No Tobacco Day 2024

State-Level Workshop on ‘Protecting Children from Tobacco Industry Interference’

On May 30, 2024, a state-level workshop was held to commemorate World No Tobacco Day, focusing on the critical theme of ‘Protecting Children from Tobacco Industry Interference.’ The event was organized collaboratively by the National Tobacco Control Program (NTCP), Uttar Pradesh, and the UP Voluntary Health Association (UPVHA), along with King George’s Medical University (KGMU), Department of Respiratory Medicine, Pulmonary Rehabilitation Center, Tobacco Cessation Clinic, and Drug Resistant TB Care International Center. The workshop took place at the auditorium of the Department of Respiratory Medicine, KGMU.

The workshop featured a panel of distinguished speakers and experts in the field of tobacco control:

  • Dr. Mukesh Matanhelia: State Nodal Officer, NTCP, Uttar Pradesh
  • Dr. Surya Kant: Head of the Department of Respiratory Medicine, KGMU
  • Mr. Satish Tripathi: State Consultant, NTCP
  • Dr. Ankit Kumar: Assistant Professor, Department of Respiratory Medicine, KGMU
  • Mr. Vivek Awasthi: Executive Director, UPVHA

Dr. Matanhelia opened the workshop by discussing the dangerous tactics employed by the tobacco industry to target youth and children. He emphasized the difficulties associated with quitting tobacco but assured that it is achievable through persistent efforts.

Dr. Surya Kant provided a comprehensive overview of the global and national impact of tobacco use:

  • Globally, tobacco use results in 8 million deaths annually.
  • In India, 1.35 million people die each year due to tobacco-related illnesses.
  • Approximately 270 million people in India use tobacco, including 22 million adolescents aged 13 to 15 years.
  • Second-hand smoke affects 77 million people in public places and nearly 10 million at home.
  • Smokeless tobacco causes over 200,000 deaths in India annually.
  • Tobacco use is linked to 25 types of diseases and 40 types of cancers, including oral, throat, lung, prostate, stomach, and brain tumours.

Dr. Kant also highlighted efforts by the Indian government, including correspondence with the Prime Minister and Health Minister since 2018, to control the production, storage, and sale of tobacco.

Mr. Satish Tripathi elaborated on the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) of 2003 and its regulations, stressing the need for strict enforcement to protect public health.

Mr. Vivek Awasthi called for heightened vigilance against the aggressive strategies of the tobacco industry and advocated for comprehensive efforts to eliminate tobacco use. He also mentioned that World No Tobacco Day was being celebrated across all districts of Uttar Pradesh with activities aimed at raising awareness and promoting tobacco cessation.

The workshop served as a vital platform for uniting health experts, policymakers, and community leaders in the fight against tobacco use. It underscored the importance of protecting children from the exploitative tactics of the tobacco industry and reaffirmed the commitment to a tobacco-free future for Uttar Pradesh. The event concluded with a call for continuous efforts and cooperation among all stakeholders to achieve significant progress in tobacco control and ensure public health safety.

The success of this workshop highlighted the collective resolve to combat tobacco use and protect future generations from its harmful effects.