*Integrated approach essential to eradicate smoking-Commissioner FDA*
Srinagar, 31 : J&K Voluntary Health Association (JKVHA) in collaboration with Institution of Engineers (India) J&K State Centre, Srinagar, Divisional Administration Kashmir, Department of Food & Drug Administration & State Emergency Operation Centre, Srinagar organized a Webinar on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day. The theme for the day was *“Commit to Quit”.*
Executive Director, J&K Voluntary Health Association A.M. Mir (IAS Retired) welcomed the participants and said that community awareness is essential to control the use of tobacco particularly in the youth in order to make J&K tobacco free. The Chief Guest on the occasion Shakeel ul Rehman, Commissioner, Food & Drug Administration, Govt. of J&K, stressed on the need for integrated approach to eradicate the menace of smoking. He said that every individual should be aware of the risks associated with tobacco and tobacco products as smokers are more vulnerable than non smokers particularly in COVID-19 Pandemic.
The speakers included Er. Aamir Ali, Chairman Institution of Engineers (India) J&K State Centre, Shabir Ahmed Lone, Food Safety Officer, Food & Drug Administration, Dr (Professor) Abdul Majid Ganai, HOD Community Medicine, Govt. Medical College Baramulla, AK Wani, Program Manager, J&K Voluntary Health Association, Ms Purva Singh, National Consultant (Non-Communicable Diseases), World Health Organisation, Hilal Mir, Asst Commissioner Food Safety. A video message was also webcast from Dr (Professor) GQ Allaqaband, Chairman, J&K Voluntary Health Association, who is currently in the US. The vote of thanks was presented by Er. M. Aaquib Sultana Waheed Deva, Honorary Secretary IEIKSC. The feedback from participants and response of experts was coordinated by Bilquees Dar & Mohmmad Suhail Wani Consultants, Disaster Management. The experts explained in detail the various ill-effects of tobacco and legal provisions of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) 2003, wherein sale of tobacco products is prohibited within 200 yards of an educational institution and sale to minors, under section 6 and smoking in public places is an offence, under section 4 of COTPA. The webinar was attended by Additional Deputy Commissioners, Chief Medical Officers, Medical Superintendents of various Hospitals, Headquarter Tehsildars, Senior Police Officers, Medical Officers from SKIMS Soura, GMC Srinagar, Baramulla, Anantnag, SKIMS Medical College Bemina, various Non-Governmental Organisations and members from the Civil Society. The Webinar was also attended by the Staff and Students of SSM College of Engineering Parihaspora, SSM Polytechnic, National Institute of Technology Srinagar, Govt Polytechnic College and Govt. College of Engineering & Technology, (GCET) Safapora, Kashmir. Council Members of Institution of Engineers (India) and Corporate Members of IEI J&K State Centre also participated.