A day-long State-level Advocacy Workshop was held at Indiravati Bhawan here on Monday to seek suggestions from all the departments for bringing down consumption of tobacco and related products in Chhattisgarh.

Commissioner (Health), R Prasanna remarked, “Suggestions from all the departments were sought through Advocacy Workshop to prevent tobacco abuse.”

Prasanna said, “Information was provided to all the departments of the State government and expectations raised on implementation of The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 (COTPA) provisions.”

Within State, as per Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) 1, there has been 2 to 14.1 per cent  reduction in use of tobacco and tobacco products. As per survey in GATS 1, it was 53.2 per cent while in GATS-2 it has been reduced to 39.1 percent.”

National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru expert Dr Prabhat and other experts spoke on the issue.

Public Relations and Social Welfare Department officers would ensure publicity and awareness on side effects of tobacco use, it was decided in the Workshop,

Police and Transport Department would take action against violation of COTPA 2003 provisions. Anganbadi, School and higher education departments will make arrangements to declare the institutions as ‘Smoke Free Zones’ and ban sale of tobacco products within 100 metres of periphery.

Health Department will hold workshops and strengthen the programme by better coordination among departments.