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Chennai to become smoke-free in two years

Ramya Kannan

CHENNAI: The Directorate of Public Health intends to make Chennai smoke-free in two years. To help its battle against tobacco is a handsome grant from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who announced funding for organisations across the world. Tamil Nadu will get Rs.4 to Rs. 5 crore to make Chennai smoke-free by 2010, a wedge of the 125 million USD Michael Bloomberg pledged to fight smoking in 2006. “Our proposal has been cleared and we have been told that the funds will reach us soon,” P. Padmanabhan, Director of Public Health told The Hindu.

The comprehensive strategy to make Chennai-smoke free would be unveiled in phases. It would include awareness, monitoring and punitive action for violations. In the Chennai Corporation area, the services of sanitary inspectors, the prosecuting authorities to prevent spitting in public places, would be utilised to implement the ban on smoking in public places.

Meanwhile, Red Ribbon Clubs would spread awareness and carry out a campaign among youth and students against smoking. They would also advance the concept of the non-smoker’s right to a smoke-free environment and their role in preventing smoking. This would be bolstered by the government’s own information, education, and communication campaign to be launched across various media simulta

neously.

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