Tobacco Smoke Free ‘Apni Mandi’ (Weekly Bazaar)

smoke_free4-720x300Second-hand smoke causes many of the same diseases as direct smoking, including cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer, and respiratory diseases and death. In India 10 lakh people are dying due to tobacco use in India but among them 60000 people were dying due to second hand exposure. The health risks of second-hand smoke are a matter of scientific consensus.

These risks have been a major motivation for smoke-free laws in workplaces and indoor public places, including restaurants, bars and night clubs as well as some open public spaces. Moving a step further to check the violation of COTPA, 2003 and to create public awareness Generation Saviour Association write a letter to the Chairman of Punjab Mandi Board. And after the advocacy meeting with different stakeholders, Punjab Mandi Board issued a letter to declare all ‘Apni Mandi’ (Weekly Bazaar) as Tobacco Smoke Free market place. S. Baljit Singh Kumbra, Chairman, Punjab Mandi Board along with S. Lakhmir Singh, SDM Mohali inaugurated the Ist Tobacco Smoke Free Apni Mandi at Sector 71, SAS Nagar on 13th April, 2016. According to Section 4 of Cigarette and other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 (COTPA) smoking is prohibited at all public places. Large number of buyers and sellers are present at Weekly Fruit and Vegetables market with their children and if someone smokes there it is equally harmful of active smoker as well as passive smoker.

Boosting up this initiative S. Kumbra said that in this process we will declare all 13 Weekly Fruit and Vegetables markets as 'Tobacco Smoke Free' Apni Mandi. It is very significant step taken by the GSA to aware people about the harmful effects of tobacco. The main purpose to declare 'Apni Mandi' as tobacco smoke free workplace is to protect second hand smoker. SDM, S. Lakhmir Singh said that tobacco control is not a duty which is assigned by Government but it is social and moral responsibility of everyone. In the upholder of panthic (Sikh religious) ideology, knows full well that the Sikh religion strictly bans the use of tobacco and its related products. Tobacco Control Cell, Punjab appreciated and supported this campaign. The Association organizing awareness programmes in these weekly bazaars and sensitizing people about the harmful effects of tobacco. Through these awareness programmes more than 1500 people have been sensitized.