Punjab has achieved a major milestone in its fight against tobacco, with over 800 villages declaring themselves tobacco-free. This was announced by Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Balbir Singh during a state-level event organised on Punjab State No Tobacco Day.
The minister also highlighted various other initiatives taken by the state to reduce tobacco consumption, including:
- Establishing tobacco cessation centers in all districts
- Declaring e-cigarettes illegal
- Banning hookah bars
- Declaring 98% of educational institutions as tobacco-free zones
Dr Singh spoke about the negative effects of tobacco use, including increased risk of mouth, lung, and intestinal cancers, heart attacks, and strokes. He also emphasized that cigarette smoke contains about 1,000 cancer-causing substances.
The event was attended by SDM Kerpalvir Singh, Civil Surgeon Raminder Kaur, district family welfare officer SJ Singh, district immunisation officer Dr Gurpreet Kaur, SMO Sanjeev Arora, and Medical Officer Harmanpreet Kaur.
Punjab’s achievement is a significant step forward in the fight against tobacco, and it sets a benchmark for other states to follow. By declaring themselves tobacco-free, these villages are creating a healthier environment for their residents and reducing their risk of developing tobacco-related diseases.