The marking of World No Tobacco Day draws global attention towards the social and health menace caused by Tobacco consumption. The objective of the stakeholders working towards Tobacco Control is to generate awareness towards the adverse effects that tobacco has both in the smoking and smokeless form, thus leading to around six million deaths each year worldwide. Various organizations and civil societies involved in this
campaign such as State Governments, Public Health Organizations etc. engage in Public Awareness Programmes locally. The theme of WNTD, 2018 is “Tobacco Breaks Hearts”.
Generation Saviour Association, Mohali has been fighting the menace of tobacco since 1996. World No Tobacco Day 2018 was celebrated at Shivalik Public School, Mohali. Keeping alive the yearly tradition of awareness generation among students, an On the Spot Painting cum Poster Making Competition was held in various schools in which about 1000 students participated. They beautifully used art to depict the harmful effects that tobacco has on -human health and wrote inspiring quotes to motivate the younger generation to stay away from tobacco. The winners and merit holders were honoured and awarded trophies and certificates during the ceremony. Important stakeholders of Tobacco Control were invited to speak on the occasion and give the youth a message to “Choose Life Not Tobacco”. Dr. Rita Bhardwaj, Civil Surgeon, Mohali, Dr. Areet Kaur, State Nodal Officer, Punjab, Dr. Rajpal Sekhon, State Nodal Officer, Haryana, Dr. Rakesh Gupta, Deputy Director and Chief Chemical Examiner, Govt. of Punjab and Dr. Anita Bedi from Bedi Hospital were the speakers for the occasion.
At the end of the ceremony, the 21st Annual Souvenir of the Association was released by the members of GSA along with the speakers of the day. The students of Mohali Public School presented cultural performances for the audience.
'World No Tobacco Day' observance brings worldwide awareness to the health risks associated with tobacco use, and reinforces the importance of effective strategies to reduce tobacco. The day is further intended to draw attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and to negative health effects, which currently lead to nearly 6 million deaths each year worldwide, including 600,000 of which are the results of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. A large numbers of global organizations and civil societies involved in this campaign such as state governments, public health organizations and etc organizes various public awareness programmes locally. For effectively celebrating the World no Tobacco Day all over the world, WHO selects a special theme every year as central component in order to distribute a global message to the people for more awareness. On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day-2017 WHO selects the theme of ‘Tobacco – a threat to development’. To spread this message in the society Generation Saviour Association celebrated World No Tobacco Day 2017 at Pracheen Kala Kendra, Sector 71, SAS Nagar Mohali. Sh. A S Chatha, IAS, Former Chief Secretary, Govt of Punjab graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. S. Manjit Singh Sethi, Deputy Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Mohali, S. Sarabjit Singh, Municipal Councillor, Mohali, Dr. Sonu Goel, Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, PGIMER and Dr. Rakesh Gupta, Deputy Director (NCD), Department of Health and Family Welfare, Punjab were also present on the occasion. On the occasion the 21st Annual Souvenir of the association was released along with the fact sheet of High COTPA compliant districts. This study is conducted by School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh instituted by the association. Prizes were distributed to the winners of the various competitions held by the GSA during the year. Also a special appreciation award given to those who had quit tobacco use recently. On the occasion variety of cultural events are presented. In her speech on World No Tobacco Day Ms. Opinder Preet Kaur Gill, President of the GSA highlighted the achievements made by the association in all the 22 districts of Punjab and also said that in the near future the association is going to spread its anti tobacco activities in Haryana also. She in strong words appealed to the society to wake up and join the fight against tobacco consumption. On focusing the drugs issue in Punjab she said that drugs can’t be eliminate from the society until the civilian didn’t support and participate Governments anti drugs activities. She also appealed that parents should take care of the children right from the childhood. She also laid stress that we should say no to tobacco; take care about our health; try to reduce poverty and to promote development of every session of the society which is also the theme of World Health Organization on World No Tobacco Day, 2017. The audience took a pledge not to use tobacco himself but also advise others not to use it; and help tobacco users in quitting.