Shillong, May 31: With the aim of highlighting the negative impact of tobacco use on the environment, the concluding function of World No Tobacco Day on the theme “Tobacco – Threat to our Environment”, was held at the State Convention Centre, Shillong.
The programme was organized by National Health Mission, Meghalaya in collaboration with the Education Department, Meghalaya and Samagra Shiksha.
Speaking as the chief guest, D. P. Wahlang, Additional Chief Secretary, government of Meghalaya lauded the convergence and joined efforts of the Health Department, the Education Department and Sambandh Health Foundation for the strong anti-tobacco campaign in the State, reaching out and engaging the involvement of over 8,400 schools.
Reminding the gathering about the detrimental effects of smoke and smokeless tobacco, both on the environment and health, he urged the students not to fall into the ills of consuming tobacco and asked them to be ambassadors of the anti-tobacco campaign by spreading the message starting in their homes, schools and society at large.
In his address, Ram Kumar. S, Additional Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department and Mission Director, National Health Mission, Meghalaya highlighted the fact that Meghalaya is the cancer capital of India as far as esophagus, lungs, nose and throat cancers are concerned.
Reiterating the need for early screening and change in lifestyle habits, he said that the involvement of schools at the districts and blocks level has played an important role in creating awareness on the impact of tobacco on our health, community and environment.
Kumar also lauded the Police department for initiating a special drive on COTPA implementation to conclude the World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) 2022 campaign.
An in-depth presentation was made on the World No Tobacco Day activities by Dr. Lana E. Lyngdoh Nongbri, Senior Dental Surgeon, SNO, National Tobacco Control Programme who highlighted the active involvement of schools in the campaign at the State, District and Block level where a total of 8,405 schools participated with 7,677 rallies and 7,464 schools doing the signature campaign.
The campaign to create awareness on the WNTD theme in the State was rolled out through the SHF WNTD App from 18th April to 20th May 2022. In this, every school had to complete two activities, i.e., Rally against tobacco and a Signature campaign with maximum student participation.