Bokaro : The Bokaro on Thursday was declared second smoking-free district after Ranchi in Jharkhand. The smoke-free tag was achieved by Bokaro, following a survey conducted by the government in compliance to various sections of Tobacco Control Act (COTPA)-2003. The survey was conducted in all the 24 districts of the state.
A smoke-free declaration was signed by all the senior administrative officials of the district in a meeting of the District Tobacco Control Coordination Committee (DTCCC) held at Collectorate Hall. Deputy Commissioner (DC), Bokaro, Rajesh Singh appealed to the residents to keep the entire district smoke and tobacco free.
Deepak Mishra, executive director of Socio Economic and Educational Development Society (Seeds) showed a powerpoint presentation informing how the state government and Seeds jointly run tobacco control programme in all the 24 districts of the state. Seeds is a technical partner of the state government for tobacco control.
Under the existing tobacco control program, surveys are conducted from time to time to assess the status of compliance of various sections of COTPA-2003 and Section 4 of COTPA-2003 (ban on smoking in public places). Based on the compliance report districts were declared smoking-free. In this sequence, Ranchi on Wednesday was declared the first smoking-free district in the state.
Mishra informed that “on the basis of survey we have found that Bokaro has complied 93.5 % of Section 4 of COTPA, which is better than most other districts”. Civil surgeon, Dr A K Pathak said the campaign to make Bokaro a smoke free district has been going on since 2016-17. Today, after almost 4 years, the district has got the distinction of being a smoking-free district.
DC has appealed to all the residents that they should keep the honour of the smoking-free district intact and should make our town remain free of tobacco completely. Their future generations can be protected from the ill effects of tobacco. He directed all the members of the anti-tobacco squad to carry out regular raids and remove shops selling tobacco products located within 100 yards of educational institutions.
Singh said “I am very happy to declare Bokaro as a smoking-free district. He said that the general public, educational institutions, all media persons, district level officials, sub-divisional level officers, block level officials, Chas Municipal Corporation and all the officials of the health department should ensure that our Bokaro remains smoking-free”.
He said that smoking is a dangerous habit. Having it publicly is very unsafe. Running the tobacco control program as a campaign has yielded very good results.
Photo : DC, Bokaro, Rajesh Singh declaring Bokaro smoking-free in present of other officials at Collectorate Hall