Chief Minister for tobacco free Jammu Kashmir
Srinagar,July 18(Scoop News) - Listing tobacco use as one of the grave health hazards, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Wednesday underscored the need for mass awareness in this regard asking for coordinated efforts in this direction.
"All of us are equal stakeholders in creating a healthy and menace-free society", he said emphasizing on pooling of resources and joining hands to salvage the society from ill effects of tobacco use. "To safeguard younger generation from this peril is our national responsibility", he said urging all to pledge support and involvement in achieving this stupendous goal. "Those who are smokers should pledge to quit smoking and join the anti-tobacco campaign with non-smokers and volunteers and work for creating tobacco-free society", he maintained.
Addressing the anti-tobacco seminar organized by Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI) and J&K Voluntary Health and Development Association (JKVHDA) at Legislative Assembly Complex here, Omar Abdullah underlined the role of public representatives in this regard.
Omar Abdullah said that his government would take all necessary steps to check the use of tobacco and cigarettes in the State adding that creation of tobacco free society is need of the hour. He said the suggestions put forth by the Voluntary Health Association would be given due consideration.
The Chief Minister congratulated the Voluntary Health Association of India and J&K Health Association for organizing the sensitization session for legislators and expressed the hope that it would yield positive results in the field of creating mass awareness against use of tobacco and cigarette smoking.
The sensitization session was addressed by Speaker Legislative Assembly, Mohammad Akbar Lone who highlighted the importance of creating mass awareness about use of tobacco.
Minister for Rural Development, Ali Mohammad Sagar, Minister for CAPD, Qamar Ali Akhoon, Minister of State for Power, Shabir Ahmad Khan and various legislators were present on the occasion.
Welcoming the Chief Minister, Executive Director, J&K Voluntary Association (JKVHA), A. M. Mir expressed gratitude to the Chief Minister for his visionary approach to tackle the menace of tobacco use and cigarette smoking to safeguard the society from this health hazard.
He said imposition of taxes by the government on tobacco products and restricting its use in government offices and public places shows the keenness of the government to protect the society from the ill effects of tobacco use.
"The Government of Jammu & Kashmir under the leadership of Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, showed its commitment by announcing an increase in Value Added Taxes (VAT) from 25% to 30% on all tobacco products during the year 2012-13. Abdul Rahim Rather, Minister of Finance categorically stated that the tax has been increased as a part of the health protection measures. This is a very commendable step in the right direction taken by the J&K Government to put a control on tobacco consumption of both smoking and smokeless forms of tobacco", he added.
"It is heartening that custodians of health of the state particularly the Chief Minister have come out openly against tobacco and have pledged their support for tobacco control. We salute the Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir for his support to create tobacco free society", said A. M. Mir.
Executive Director said that his organization appeals the young and dynamic Chief Minister to ban sale and manufacture of products like Gutka, Khaini and other smokeless tobacco products as has been done by the States of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh.
Ali Mohammad Mir presented resume of the awareness and sensitization programme launched by his organization to make people especially youth and students about the ill effects of tobacco on physical and mental health. He said that Speaker Legislative Assembly, Mohammad Akbar Lone, Ministers, Parliament Members, Legislators have extended full support to his organization in the awareness drive.
The Executive Director sought the full involvement of public representatives in the just cause of protecting society from the menace of tobacco use and smoking being carried forward by his association. "Our goal is to create tobacco and smoking free society in Jammu and Kashmir and we require your involvement and support at all levels", he told the legislators and expressed his gratitude for the positivity shown by them in this regard.
The Cancer Expert from Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi and Regional Director VHAI, Ms. Seema Gupta also spoke .
Tags: Chief Minister , Tobacco Free , Jammu , Kashmir , Tobacco
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