GUWAHATI: On the eve of the World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), 2020, Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI) urged all stakeholders including Government to protect children and youth from the exposure of tobacco products.
Keeping with this year's theme of the WNTD, VHAI launched a series of awareness and signature campaigns in the city to protect the youngsters from the menace of tobacco.
According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS-2) Report, tobacco use prevalence in India has declined from 34.6 per cent to 28.6 per cent in eight years between 2009 and 2017. While in Assam, it has increased from 39.3 per cent to 48.2 per cent.
To protect children and young people from tobacco use, VHAI urged the State Government for strict enforcement of the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Product Act (COTPA), 2003.
The World Health Organization's (WHO) theme for this year's WNDT aims at alerting youth against the tobacco industries' tactics to hook them to the addictive products. According to WHO, every year the tobacco industry invests more than USD 9 billion to advertise its products. Increasingly, it is targeting young people with nicotine and tobacco products in a bid to replace the 8 million people that its products kill every year.
VHAI, a national level NGO, working on several important public health issues like Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Control, Vector Bourne, Food and Nutrition Security, Immunization asserts that tobacco use is one of the major risk factors for NCDs- which is one of the major co-morbidity factors of COVID-19.