Punjab has secured a place in the lowest tobacco use prevalence as per the latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) data.
Disclosing this on Monday, Deputy Chief Minister OP Soni, who also holds the charge of Punjab health and family welfare minister, said as per the latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) data released by the Union ministry of health and family welfare, the prevalence of tobacco use in Punjab is now lowest among all the states in the country.
Tobacco use in Punjab among males of 15 years and older has declined from 19.2 per cent (NFHS-4) to 12.9 per cent (NFHS-5) in the last five years. Punjab is also on top amongst all the states and Union Territories (UTs) in the prevalence of tobacco use in females older than 15 stands at just 0.6 per cent.
Congratulating the state Tobacco Control Cell, Punjab for this landmark achievement, Soni said 5541 challans have been issued under COTPA-2003 in the last 10 months.
Tobacco Cessation centers have been established in all the districts. Free Tobacco cessation counseling and medicines like Bupropion, Nicotine gums, and patches are being provided in these centers to the patients to quit Tobacco.
He said 7307 Tobacco users have availed services at these centers (April–October 2021). More than 800 Villages in the state have been declared as Tobacco Free.
Soni stressed for an increased contribution of civil society organisations in this area, along with effective policies towards reducing affordability and marketing restrictions are essential to achieve success in alleviating the harm that tobacco consumption does to individuals and society.
The director of health and family welfare, Dr. Andesh Kanga, underlining the ill effects of tobacco said tobacco use is associated with a range of communicable and non-communicable diseases and mental health disorders, wreaking a high social cost with their use.
Several studies have shown that it could make a person more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus diseases, he added.