Guwahati, May 30: On the eve of the World No Tobacco Day, Voluntary Health Association of Assam (VHAA), a non-governmental organization has urged Dispur to strictly enforce the central anti-tobacco act in Assam. The VHAA urged complete ban on smoking in any public places, within the 100 yards radius of any educational institutions and sale of tobacco products to minors as mandated by the section 4 and 6 of the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Product Act (COTPA), 2003.
“Synchronizing with this year’s theme of the WNTD, we would like to request the Assam Government to strictly enforce COTPA, 2003, especially the ban on smoking at public places including work places. It is alarming that almost half of the adult population in Assam is using tobacco in some form or other and if that is not enough more than 30% of nonsmokers are exposed to passive smoking in work and public places of Assam,” said Ruchira Neog, Executive Secretary, VHAA.
Reminding that the State BJP, in its election manifesto promised to ban smoking and consumption of other tobacco products in public places, Neog appealed Dispur to keep their promise by banning the same.
According to WHO, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) kill more people than any other cause of death worldwide, and tobacco use and second-hand (passive) smoke exposure contribute to approximately 12% of all heart disease deaths. Tobacco use is the second leading cause of CVD, after high blood pressure.