Tobacco Free West Bengal Campaign joins hands with five Durga Puja pandals
Kolkata: Tobacco Free West Bengal Campaign joined hands with five Durga Puja pandals (under Borough X) to make them Tobacco Free zones and urged the state government to declare all Pandals Tobacco Free on the auspicious occasion of Durga Puja.
The five pandals which have come forward to join hands with Tobacco Free West Bengal Campaign are Golf Green Sharad Utsav Committee, Netaji Nagar Nagarik Brinda, Samajgarh Sarbojanin Durgostav, Ranikuthi Regent Place Sarbojonin and Ajaygarh Bastuhara Samity.
Indranil Dasgupta, Programme Manager, Tobacco Free West Bengal Campaign said, “Tobacco consumption is one of the most fatal habits of the nation. It is the leading cause of preventable death. The objective of our campaign is to sensitise State Government officials on the COTPA Regulations and ensure proper enforcement of it.
In this regard,we are grateful to Tapan Dasgupta, Chairman Borough X to have joined hands with Tobacco Free West Bengal Campaign and declare five Durga Puja Pandals Tobacco Free zones.
We also urge the youth of the State, the Durga Puja Committees and Various Departments of the West Bengal State Government to come forward and support our cause by enforcing Section 4 of COTPA 2003 in all Durga Puja Pandals to make it a Tobacco Free Durga Puja. Each citizen of the State should come forward together to stop any kind of tobacco consumption inside and around a Durga Puja pandal this year.”
According to GATS 2 (Global Adult Tobacco Survey) report published in 2016 – 2017, India has the second the largest number of tobacco users in the world, with 28.6% population consuming tobacco in all forms. Tobacco causes approximately 1.3 million deaths in the country. West Bengal has alarmingly high number of tobacco consumers. 33.5% population of the state is addicted to tobacco. 48.5 % of tobacco consumers are men, while 17.9% are women. 24.4% people were exposed to second hand smoking in the state which highlights the COTPA regulation violated prohibiting smoking in public places. Percentage of adults exposed to secondhand smoke at Home is 56.1%.
Percentage of adults exposed to secondhand smoke at Workplace is 57.5%. 5.4% women in the state continue tobacco use during their pregnancy term. 9.6% of the state’s population is exposed to smoking by age 15, 19.8% get addicted within 18-19 years, 53.8% get addicted by 20-34 yrs.
According to a report published in 2011 by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India in collaboration with WHO India and the Public Health Foundation of India on the economic burden related to health issues caused by tobacco, the economic burden of West Bengal was Rs 3,440 crores.
Economic burden of West Bengal due to cancer, respiratory disease and TB was Rs 1,332 crores due to tobacco consumption. We can therefore conclude, a large sum of money is being spent on the treatment of tobacco related diseases and hence consumption of tobacco needs to be arrested.
About Tobacco Free West Bengal:
Tobacco Free West Bengal is a campaign launched by Tomorrow’s Foundation.The main aim of the campaignis to protect citizens from the most preventable cause of death – tobacco.The primary focus of Tobacco Free West Bengal is to ensure the enforcement of COTPA 2003 by working in close association with the health and home department of the Government of West Bengaland youth of the State.