Chandigarh, May 31:- The ‘World No Tobacco Day” made a difference to the lives of at least 20 persons in Chandigarh today, who lighted the proverbial last fag of their life from a candle, threw it into a water tub kept by the side and took a vow never to smoke again.
“Under a noble initiative of the Health Department, we had planned to offer incentive to the smokers wanting to quit smoking. We provided them with a candle, asked them to light a cigarette and throw it into a tub full of water with an oath ‘this is my last smoke’. And about 20 persons did so”, said Dr. Deepak Bakshi, State Nodal Officer, Chandigarh.
This activity and other related activities formed part of the elaborate and integrated plan drawn up by the Chandigarh Administration, in collaboration with the National Tobacco Control Cell, National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) to celebrate “World No Tobacco Day” in Sector 17 of Chandigarh today. The event was inaugurated by Dr. M S Bains, Director, Health Services, Chandigarh.
A one-day exhibition was held to mark the occasion. It exhibited “pictorial warnings” through the medium of 25 huge posters detailing and displaying in full measure the ill-effects of smoking. Audio-video shots were also shown to the visitors bringing home the message of ill-effects of smoking.
The Health Department had also made arrangements for conducting free ECG and spirometry tests to check the functioning of heart and lungs of smokers. More than 200 persons benefited from this facility.
The wall of flexi-sheet put up to enable people to launch a signature campaign against smoking and enable the visitors to write their slogans was left with little space after half an hour. “So much was the enthusiasm among the people to highlight the ill-effects of the damaging habit”, Dr Bakshi added.
It may be recalled that Chandigarh had been declared ‘smoke-free city” by the Administration on July 15, 2007.