Says Public Support Crucial in Combating Menace
Srinagar, Oct 05 (KNS): In a resolute effort to curb the menace of tobacco use in public places, the health department in Kashmir have realized fines amounting to over 1.5 lac rupees from violators in 2023, Director Health Kashmir, Dr. Mushtaq Ahmad Rather said on Thursday.
Speaking to media persons on the sidelines of one day Media sensitization workshop under national tobacco control programme, he said that the push for a tobacco-free environment is not only a matter of law but also a public health imperative, emphasizing the critical need for public support in achieving this goal.
Dr. Mushtaq Ahmad Rather, stressed the significance of public backing in the fight against tobacco use. He highlighted that no program or struggle against any issue can truly succeed without the active support of the public. Encouragingly, a significant portion of the fines collected is a testament to the willingness of residents to adhere to tobacco control regulations.
Dr. Rather further emphasized that the battle against smoking extends beyond public places and into homes. Smoking in domestic environments can have adverse effects on children and elderly family members. He cited a recent study conducted in collaboration with the Social Welfare Department, revealing that out of 70,000 people, 50,000 were found to be users of intravenous drugs. Alarming findings indicated that many of these drug users had a history of smoking, including minors.
Dr. Rather underscored the interconnectedness of tobacco use and substance abuse, advocating for a comprehensive approach to address both issues.
To combat the rising concern of substance abuse, particularly among youth, he said that additional treatment facilities (ATF) centers have been established in every district of the valley. He said that these centers aim to provide necessary support and intervention to those in need, offering a holistic approach to tackle addiction and promote healthier lifestyles.