THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Tobacco control programmes aimed at the vulnerable and less-thought-about sections of population will be the highlight of the state-level activities to mark World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) that falls on May 31.
The theme of this year’s No Tobacco Day is ‘Raise Tobacco Taxes, Reduce Consumption, Save Lives’.
Additional Director of Health Services (Public Health) and Tobacco Control in Kerala Nodal Officer A S Pradeep Kumar said that the week-long activity had been planned to spell out the harms of tobacco and raise societal consciousness against tobacco use.
The Health Services Department, Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies of Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology and the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) have joined hands with civil society groups under the umbrella of WNTD Kerala State Organising Committee, to give shape to various events.
Special focus has been given to heighten awareness against tobacco use among the youth and enhance their contribution towards tobacco control, Pradeep said, adding that the Health Services Department has planned programmes in all 14 district headquarters and 120 blocks for raising awareness against tobacco use.
As part of the programme, rallies and marches against tobacco use in public places will be held. In some places, seminars and workshops about the need for raising tobacco taxes will be held, he said.
Pradeep said that the winners of the short film contest, held as part of the WNTD observance, will be presented awards on May 31.
Nasuruddeen K K from Malappuram bagged the first prize for his short film ‘Kill Smoking, Smoking Kills’. He will get a cash prize of Rs 10,000, a certificate and a memento.
Ajith M from Thiruvananthapuram got the second prize for ‘Attention’ and Rakshit Maheswari of Gujarat bagged the third prize for ‘Spreading Smile’. Ajith M will get Rs 5,000 and Rakshit Rs 3,000.
Two consolation prizes of Rs 1,000 each was bagged by Sooraj P of Kannur and Akhiraj R of Thiruvananthapuram.
A programme with the objective of controlling tobacco use among migrants will be held at the Gandhi Park in East Fort on May 25. Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala will inaugurate an awareness programme on harms of tobacco for inmates of Central Prison on May 28.
An interactive session with media, in association with Kesari Memorial Journalists’ Trust, on the role of media in tobacco control in Kerala, will be held on May 29. Health Minister V S Sivakumar will inaugurate a public event in Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies on May 31.