Bhubaneswar, Oct 26: Odisha has achieved a remarkable feat by securing the top position nationwide in the Tobacco-Free Village Campaign. This initiative, known as "Abhiyan," was launched as part of the Tobacco Free Youth Campaign 2023, running for a duration of two months, from July to August.
The Government of India has recognized and honored the state for its proactive approach in this endeavor. Dr. Niranjan Mishra, the Public Health Director, emphasized the critical role of awareness programs conducted at the village level to promote tobacco-free environments. The central government has not only acknowledged but also commended Odisha's pioneering efforts, which have led to this prestigious recognition.
Odisha stands as a entrepreneur, being the first state in the nation to embark on the path towards creating tobacco-free villages. To facilitate this, the health department collaborated with the Panchayati Raj department to implement the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act 2003 (COTPA 2003) through the village sarpanches.
To date, an impressive 54 panchayats have been officially declared as tobacco-free zones. Furthermore, this compelling campaign is actively underway in 114 additional gram panchayats across the state. Complementing these efforts, a successful Tobacco-Free School Campaign is also in operation throughout the state, reinforcing the commitment to healthier, tobacco-free living.