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Smoke-free zones planned in schools and colleges

schoolboys smoking may
CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday launched a drive to create awareness of smoke free zones in educational institutions. As part of the campaign government officials launched a crackdown on shops selling cigarettes to consumers below 18 years and vowed to take action against those trading tobacco products within 100 yards of the campus.
“The drive, which was launched by the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at the ELM Fabricious High School on Purasawalkam High Road, will target about 1,000 educational institutions across Chennai in the next one year,” said Porkai Pandian, the director of public health.
“We have four mobile enforcement squad, which will monitor smoke-free zones and shopkeepers selling tobacco products violating the Section 6 A and Section 6 B of the Control of Tobacco Products Act and levy fine,” he told Express.
Pandian said the government has allotted Rs 26 lakh to the Adyar Cancer Research Institute to implement the project in schools across Chennai. He said the department would launch a Compliance Monitoring Survey in Chennai next month to check the awareness of no-smoking campaigns.
E Vidhubala, Tobacco Cessation Centre, Cancer Institute, which is implementing the project, told Express the government has set 11 guidelines to make education institution smoke-free.
She said a closed-door senior level consultation would be held on Friday to devise strategies of how to make Chennai smoke-free. Top officials from various departments, including health, education, school and higher education, tea-shop association leaders and university vice-chancellors’ representatives would attend it.

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