Panaji, March 11, 2021: Dr Shekar Salkar, President NOTE-India (National Organisation on Tobacco Eradication) today urged Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant for making budgetary allocation for various initiatives proposed in the interest of the Students and adolescent population in the state to curb the menace of Cigarette and other Tobacco products.
Statistics have proven that there is a decrease consumption of tobacco products in Goa from 1984, when the percentile consumption of tobacco products was 35%, to 10 % in the current scenario. This result has been achieved due to the combined efforts of NGO’s, Government,beurocrates and Print- Electronic media and support from the people of the state.
As per the studies undertaken, 40-45% of total cancer load are oral cavity cancers are linked to tobacco consumption, which has now come down at 25%. So, it’s clear that we have been successful in bringing down oral cavity cancers in goa by almost 20%.
NOTE India had proposed draft legislations for conceptualizing and implementing Vendor Licensing laws based on COTPA 2003 Act. But, the draft is still pending for legal scrutiny and once enacted by Urban local bodies and Panchayats, it will regularise sale of tobacco products. Strict vigilance and dedicated point of sale will discourage access of cigarettes and other tobacco products especially to Children and Youngsters.
At the same time it will add revenue to local urban bodies ans at panchayat level.
Dr Salkar also briefed the chief minister on the Tobacco Free Educational Institute (TOFEI) initiative for apoximately 1550 schools across Goa.
“The aim of this activity is to make all Educational Institutes in Goa compliant to the anti-tobacco rules and set in place tools to monitor children are kept away from tobacco and allied products, the said activity shall be executed by NGO’S in the field of tobacco awareness and requested to make budgetary provision for proper implementation through NGO,” he added.
NOTE India has further requested the Chief Minister to levy an additional luxury tax of 15 to 20 percent on Ciggrete and beedies as studies have shown that increase in price has adverse effect on sale of cigarette and other tobacco products. it is an immediate result yielding step to decrease sale but yet such step not only acts as an deterrent on consumption of cigarette and tobacco products but also generate additional revenue for the state.*
Dr Salkar concluded that It is of utmost importance that the state government ropes in NGO”s and experts to address the issue of tobacco consumption which is the leading cause of various cancers and health ailments specially in students and adolescent age group, Chief Minister has assured complete support for the cause.