BHUBANESWAR: Even as the World No Tobacco Day was observed all across on Thursday, there are efforts to achieve the goal of making Cuttack and Khurda districts smoke-free.
Both the districts are among the select few in the country to have been included under the National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP). The district administrations, in association with the police and tobacco control organisation VHAI-Aparajita, will be intensifying enforcement drives against the violation of Tobacco Control laws like smoking in public places or sale of products in prohibited zones.
The CDMOs in both the districts are gearing up their workforce to enforce the laws. At Cuttack NTCP staff are in the process of being recruited. The administration will soon be identifying the public places where signages on prohibition of smoking will be displayed. The ban on sale of tobacco within 100 yards of the educational institutions would also be strictly imposed.
The Commissionerate police has also lent its support to the NTCP initiatives with Cuttack DCP Praveen Kumar saying that awareness building both at public places and education institutions to be followed up by penalty imposition on the violators, programme manager of VHAI-Aparajita Itishree Kanungo said.
VHAI, which has been roped in as the expert implementation agency, will also hold a sensitisation programme for the law enforcers of Khurda district too. Following the programme, special squads under the SP, Khurda, would be formed to start the enforcement drive from June 10, Kanungo said.
The organisation has also held discussions with the NCC Group headquarters at Cuttack to sensitise cadets on the anti-tobacco laws and encourage them to spread the message among their peers.
The NCC officials have accepted a proposal to include anti-tobacco drive as a part of their National convention to be held in the State in June.
Both the districts are targeting the Smoke-free status by the year-end.