Chandigarh, August 14: Punjab today formally declared SRI MUKTSAR SAHIB, SANGRUR AND BATHINDA DISTRICTS AS ‘TOBACCO SMOKE FREE’. Divulging this here today Mr. Madan Mohan Mittal, Health and Family Welfare Minister said that a decision to this effect was taken on the eve of Independence Day.
Mr. Mittal said that School of Public Health PGIMER, Chandigarh was entrusted the task of conducting a Compliance survey and Opinion poll to verify the compliance of COTPA Act, 2003 (Cigarettes & Other Tobacco Products Act). Dr Sonu Goel, Assistant Professor,School of Public Health , PGIMER,Chandigarh, has in his report concluded that, absence of active smoking and presence of signages was observed in more than 93% of public places in districts Bathinda and Sri Muktsar Sahib and more than 96% in district Sangrur.
He added that this study paved the way for officially declaring SRI MUKTSAR SAHIB, SANGRUR AND BATHINDA DISTRICTS ‘Smoke Free’ districts of Punjab in line with Districts Ajitgarh(Mohali), Mansa, Amritsar, Roopnagar, Saheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Fatehgarh Sahib and Gurdaspur which were declared as’ Tobacco Smoke Free’earlier.
Smt.Vini Mahajan, Principal Secretary, Health & Family Welfare, Punjab congratulated State Tobacco Control Cell Punjab and District Administration of these districts who made consistent efforts in this regard.
Dr. Ashok Nayyar, Director Health Services Punjab said that consistent efforts are being made to make entire Punjab ‘Tobacco Smoke Free’ in a phased manner. It is very important to protect all people from harmful effects of the tobacco smoke inadvertantly inhaled by the non smokers.