Govt’s ‘yellow line campaign’ 100-yard around educational institutions ‘tobacco-free zone’

Chandigarh, November 2: To further tighten the noose around the neck of offenders who are bent on violating anti-tobacco law, the Punjab Government on Thursday launched a ‘Yellow Line Campaign,’ declaring 100-yard area around educational institutions as ‘tobacco-free zone’.

The ambitious ‘Yellow line Campaign’ was launched by the state Health and Family Welfare Minister Brahm Mohindra while kick-starting state specific ‘Punjab State No Tobacco Day’, organized at Chandigarh’s Sukhna Lake.

This year, ‘Punjab State No Tobacco Day’ is being observed on the theme of ‘Tobacco Breaks Heart’. Besides, a booklet on Tobacco-NCD control programme was also released in the function authored by State Tobacco Control Cell, in collaboration with PGIMER’s School of Public Health.

“It is for the first time that the Health Department has observed the ‘Punjab State No Tobacco Day’ coinciding with the Punjab Day to sensitize the youth about the creation of Punjab State and making it totally drug free state,” said Mohindra..

Flagging various attributes of the flagship Yellow Line Campaign, Mohindra said that it has been launched in all districts of Punjab under which a yellow line is marked to demarcate ‘tobacco free zone’ at 100 yards from the schools and colleges.

During this week-long campaigns, state as well as district health officers would ensure the strict implementation of Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act, 2003, and would create awareness among the students of educational institutes from November 1 to 7.

The Minister said that the Health Department has taken up tobacco control as a flagship program, and as a result, Punjab has became the leading State of the country to comply tobacco control law.

“Acting against the violators, about 25,139 challans had been issued under COTPA-2003 during 2017-18. All the 22 districts in the state have been declared as tobacco smoke free. Total 730 villages have been declared themselves Tobacco Free Villages by passing the resolution in 2017- 18,” he said.

He added that the State Government had established ‘Tobacco Cessation centers’ in all the districts, besides providing free counselling  services and cessation medicines like Nicotine gums and patches in these centers. Tobacco cessation services are also being provided by the dental surgeons in the district hospitals.

“Punjab is a pioneer state to focus on youth by timely ban on e-cigarettes, hookah bars and by declaring hostels of colleges and universities as tobacco free,” he said adding that we are now diverting our energy towards youth of marginalized section of society like slum population and rural areas of Punjab by organising regular oral screening.

Source The Pioneer