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701 educational institutions to be declared tobacco-free

Meera Srinivasan

CHENNAI: As many as 701 educational institutions in the State will be declared tobacco-free on Wednesday.

This follows an initiative of the Adyar Cancer Institute, which, together with agencies, including the Health Department, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and the World Health Organisation (WHO), has been working to make educational institutions tobacco-free.

As part of its ‘World No Tobacco Day’ activities, the Tobacco Cessation Centre of the Institute has also been training coordinators at institutions in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, district liaison officers for schools, and NSS coordinators from colleges over the past few months to establish a tobacco control taskforce in all schools and colleges.

E. Vidubala, principle investigator, Tobacco Cessation Centre, said the institutions which were to be declared tobacco-free had established a taskforce.

The institutions — over 600 schools and nearly 100 colleges across the State — are being recognised for meeting certain criteria, such as putting up boards with the message that tobacco products were not to be stored or sold on the premises.

They must also ensure that tobacco products were not sold in any store or petty shop within 100 metres of their campuses.

Institutions meeting such parameters had sent reports to the Cancer Institute.

Later, a team of coordinators in various districts, headed by the Deputy Directors of Health Services, verified whether they were meeting the prescribed criteria and submitted reports to the Institute.

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