Tobacco use higher than state average in Wayanad; district authorities intervene

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Kalpetta: The district-level coordination committee here has come up with plans to curb Tobacco use. This comes in the wake of data that Wayanad’s tobacco use is more than the state’s average.

The coordination committee is aiming to work towards tobacco-free towns and villages in this context. All schools in the district will be declared tobacco-free in due course as part of the government's tobacco-free school policy.

Anti-tobacco awareness programmes will be organised in every school in the first week of March. Activities, including awareness programmes, will be initiated by integrating all departments.

Tobacco sales within a 100-metre radius of schools will be eliminated. Collective activities of local self-governments, parents, residents' associations, traders and various departments will be implemented in every educational institution. The district administration will honour the schools, departments, individuals and organisations that are doing exemplary work.

Training to implement anti-tobacco activities will be given to head teachers, panchayat members and volunteers under the leadership of the health department.

A survey conducted among individuals above 30 years of age regarding lifestyle diseases, found that 17 percent of respondents in the district chewed tobacco. This is higher than the state average.

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