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Call for anti-tobacco drive in villages

By Our Staff Reporter

KOCHI, MAY 31. Campaign against tobacco should not be restricted to cities, it should be taken to villages too, the Ombudsman for Local Self-Government Institutions, K.P. Radhakrishna Menon, said here today.

Speaking after the inauguration of the State-level `World No Tobacco' campaign organised by the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, Mr. Radhakrishnan said consistent campaigns in rural areas would deliver results.

"Health is wealth", he said, adding that youth should keep away from the addictive habits. Mr. Radhakrishnan also said the attitude to stay away from tobacco should be inculcated in the youth since man could not be taught morals by legislation alone.

Presiding over the function, K. Babu, MLA, said it was deadly social evil which had to be tackled with collective effort.

He pointed out that a large number of the oral and throat cancer cases reported at the Regional Cancer Centre were the result of some kind of tobacco use. Professor of Maharaja's College, K.S. Radhakrishnan, speaking on the topic `Tobacco and Poverty', said all kinds of addictions were bad.

"They come with a cost." People should learn to strike a balance in everything in life, he said.

In his keynote address, the zonal director of the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sanghatan, A. Radhakrishnan, said tobacco affected health, which in turn affected the person economically. While there had been a lot of campaigns against smoking, various organisations should now focus on evils of chewing tobacco too, he said.

Efforts should be made to cut down the production of tobacco. Tobacco cultivation was not profitable.

While tobacco planters got only one harvest in one-and-a-half years, other agricultural produce could yield better profits, he pointed out.

The District Information Officer, M.A. Vincent, and the Government Youth Hostel Warden, Col. P.P.A. Nair, spoke on the occasion.

The Mount Everest trekker, Vipin Kumar, was felicitated on the occasion.

The State convener of Youth Hostels Association of India, A.K. Rajan, proposed a vote of thanks.

In yet another programme organised to mark the No Tobacco Day, a seminar organised by the Chavara Cultural Centre and Medilab on the `Hazards of Tobacco' was inaugurated by the former High Court judge, K.K. Narendran.

The president of the General Physicians Association, Abraham Varghese, gave a presentation on how tobacco use leads to poverty.

Financial burden was the result of not just buying tobacco products but in treating tobacco related diseases. Ultimately, the death of the breadwinner in the family put the family in dire straits, he said.

A month-long programme organised by the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences to help smokers give up the habit concluded today.

According to M. Dinesh, in-charge of the Quit and Win programme, there would be follow-up programmes for those registered at the Institute.

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