Bhubaneswar, Aug 29: In a bid to have a dialogue on various strategies with a focus on strengthening the national and state policies, and building a conducive environment for a reduction in tobacco consumption and improving the public health situation, Coalition for Tobacco Free Odisha, an alliance of civil society organizations and PECUC a leading volunteering organization of Odisha & concern citizens organized a Public Consultation program - ‘Improving public health by Reducing Tobacco use ‘where participants urged the Govts at Centre & State to take focus action on controlling tobacco consumption in the country &state.
The panel was chaired by dignitaries including Hon'ble MP Sulata Deo, Rajya Sabha, Odisha, Sushant Kumar Biswal Assistant manager, District Tobacco Control Cell, along with Ranjan Kumar Mohanty, Secretary PECUC, Dr. Minakshi Panda, Chairman, PECUC, Anuradha Mohanty, Executive Director PECUC and Satyashiva Rath, Public Health professional.
Tobacco kills more than 1 million people each year, which accounts for 9.5% of all deaths, says WHO 2018 report. In another report by Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) 2016-17, nearly 267 million who are 15 years and above (29%) are tobacco users. Also 38.7% of adults were exposed to second hand smoke at home; 30.2% at workplace; and 7.4% at restaurants.
Addressing the gathering Hon'ble MP Sulata Deo, Rajya Sabha said, “Tobacco consumption affects the family members more of the tobacco addicts. We should look deeper into reducing the production and distribution of tobacco as the revenue collected from the sale of tobacco is lesser than what it has to spend on healthcare and treatment measures for tobacco related diseases. Such awareness programmes should be done in remote areas and villages, not just in urban areas. By reducing tobacco consumption right from our homes, we are not only saving lives but also laying the foundation for a thriving and vibrant future.”
Mr. Ranjan Kumar Mohanty, Secretary, PECUC said, “Children these days are seen consuming tobacco as it is easy available. They are the future of our nation and protecting them from such hazard is protecting the future. COTPA stands as a cornerstone in our efforts to curb the widespread use of tobacco and its harmful consequences however this act needs to be further strengthen.”
Youth ambassadors named Truptimayee Behera, Sasmita Bhoi and Subhash Chandra Mahanta joined the event and shared their experiences. The Program was further attended by organization from across the state working on Tobacco control. The event also focused on how women can play a great role in bringing change at home and ultimately in the society.
Harahar Balbantaray, Field Facilitator, PECUC gave a vote of thanks.