Fri. May 24th, 2024
Public Health Groups Applauds Telangana Government for banning the use of tobacco products

365teugu.com,online news,Hyderabad, 20 May,2020 : Public health experts have welcomed the timely move by the State Government to ban the use of tobacco products and spitting in public places with the aim to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare earlier issued directions to all states and union territories, to prohibit the use and spitting of chewing tobacco products in public places to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardan wrote to Honourable Health Minister Shri Etela Rajender, Government of Telangana to ban sale of tobacco products. In a letter addressed to all State Health Ministers, he said tobacco use is a major threat to public health globally. Smokeless tobacco users have a tendency to spit in public places or otherwise and therefore, increase health risks especially those of spreading infectious and contagious diseases like COVID-19, tuberculosis, swine flu, encephalitis etc. The use of smokeless tobacco also creates unhygienic environment which further spreads the diseases. Large gathering at the retail outlets where smokeless tobacco products are sold, also pose the risk of spread of COVID19.

Public Health Groups Applauds Telangana Government for banning the use of tobacco products
Public Health Groups Applauds Telangana Government for banning the use of tobacco products

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has also appealed to the general public to not consume and spit smokeless tobacco products in public places as Chewing Smokeless Tobacco Products (Gutka, Pan Masala with tobacco, paan and other chewing tobacco products) and areca nut (supari) increases the production of saliva followed by a very strong urge to spit. Spitting in public places could enhance the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Also, by banning spitting in public places, the States/UTs can help in achieving not only Swachh Bharat but also Swasth Bharat (Clean India & Healthy India). Appreciating the efforts taken by states like Rajasthan which completely ban the sale of tobacco products. The Union Health Minister urge the State Government to take similar measures and create widespread awareness regarding harms of spitting in public places. We take this opportunity to express our admiration & applaud the Government of Telangana for taking excellent measures for the prevention & control of spread of COVID 19 virus under the able guidance of the Chief Minister of Telangana”, Bhavna B Mukhopadhyay, Chief Executive Voluntary Health Association of India. Rajasthan is the first state in India that has come out with an ordinance which completely bans the sale of tobacco products in view of COVID-19 including spitting in public places. “We applaud the State Government of Telangana for taking timely step for imposing a ban on the use of tobacco products and spitting in public places to prevent & control the spread of COVID 19 virus. To protect their health and reduce their risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms, we urge the State Govt to ban the sale of tobacco products as well, Binoy Mathew, Senior Programme Officer, Voluntary Health Association of India.

Public Health Groups Applauds Telangana Government for banning the use of tobacco products
Public Health Groups Applauds Telangana Government for banning the use of tobacco products

COVID-19 is an infectious disease that primarily attacks the lungs. Smoking impairs lung function making it harder for the body to fight off coronaviruses and other diseases. Tobacco is also a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease and diabetes which put people with these conditions at higher risk for developing severe illness when affected by COVID-19. Available research suggests that smokers are at higher risk of developing severe disease and death. Dr A Srikath, Secretary, Indian Dental Association, Deccan Branch – “Tobacco smoking is a known risk factor for many respiratory infections and increases the severity of respiratory diseases. A review of studies by public health experts convened by WHO on 29 April 2020 found that smokers are more likely to develop severe disease with COVID-19, compared to non-smokers” Tobacco users keen to quit smoking and smokeless products, can avail of free of charge telephone based quit line services launched by government of India. The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India has set up a National Tobacco Quit Line Services to provide counselling services to help smokers and tobacco consumers to quit. Tobacco users can also avail of m-cessation -an initiative by MoHFW for utilising mobile technology for tobacco cessation. Tobacco users can register by giving a missed call to a national number (011-22901701) to avail support for quitting through constant text messaging on their mobile phones. This service uses two-way messaging between the individual seeking to quit tobacco use and experts who provide them advice and information through sms or interactive voice response in 12 languages.