New Delhi: In an innovative approach towards eradicating tobacco usage among youth, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has joined hands with the college unions.

Under the collaboration, college festivals with an anti-tobacco theme will be organized in colleges across the national capital to create awareness about hazardous consequences of smoking.

The government will partially fund the festivals in order to encourage them to include the anti-tobacco theme in the college fests as well as organize special programs for it in the college premises. It will begin with Delhi University’s Shri Ram College of Commerce.

According to the government estimates, nearly 5500 youth begin consuming tobacco everyday. The data further states that youth and women are the biggest consumers of tobacco and tobacco products.

This new scheme to involve college and universities is done under health ministry’s plan to revamp its media strategy for controlling usage of tobacco.

Usage of tobacco in India is reaching the alarming situation. As per a recently conducted study, 5 percent of all deaths in women is due to smoking of cigarettes and beedi while in the number goes up to 20 percent of all the deaths in males between the age bracket of 30 to 69 years.

At present, 37.46 percent of adults consume tobacco in one form or other. Out of this 47.9 per cent are males while women count for  20.3 percent, concludes a study.

In 2015-16, government allotted Rs 20 crore for checking tobacco usage under its National Tobacco Control Program (NTPC). It’s a drastic cut from Rs 60 crore, allocated in 2014-2015.

Worldwide, tobacco use causes nearly 6 million deaths per year, and current trends show that tobacco use will cause more than 8 million deaths annually by 2030.

25 Jan 2016

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