Tobacco products are sold alongside Toffee, Chips in Goa: Study

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Dona Paula: National Organization of Tobacco Eradication (NOTE) Goa, Consumer VOICE- a New Delhi based non-profit organisation Working on tobacco control issues in the state of India, directorate of Muncipal administration  govt of goa and Manipal Hospitals Goa today organized a consultation of stakeholders at the Conference Hall at Manipal Hospitals Goa on 1st Nov 2019, to discuss the implementation of Government of Goa’s policy on mandating licensing for vendors who sell tobacco products.

Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2 (GATS 2) released by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) in year 2017,shows 9.7 % percent of adults in Goa consume tobacco in some form or the other. On February11, 2019 the Department of Urban Development of Goa issued a circular (10/56/2014-DMA/3416) directing all urban local bodies in Goa to develop mechanism to provide permission/authorization/ vendor licensing through ULBs (Urban local bodies) to retail shops selling tobacco products with restriction on sale on non-tobacco products as candies, chips, soft drinks etc.

The workshop was inaugurated by Shri Uday Madkaikar, Mayor of the Corporation of the City of Panaji, as the Chief Guest and he called upon all stakeholders to work together for tobacco control in Goa specially near the schools to save our future generation .
Dr. Jose D’Sa- Director Directorate of Health Services [DHS] Govt of Goa and shri pramod Acharya chièf editor prudant media were guest of honour.
They also addressed the audience with
Shri. Sanjit Rodrigues- Commissioner of the city of Panaji [CCP], Dr. Shekhar Salkar : Secretary – NOTE [India] & HOD Oncology Dpt., Manipal Hospitals Goa, Mr. Amarjeet Singh, Advisor Legal, Consumer VOICE, Delhi, Shri. Roland Martin: Coordinator for NGO: GOACAN, Mrs.Sanyof Kudalkar – Senior Food Safety Officer, Directorate of Food and Drugs Administration, Dr.Roopa Naik- Chief Medical Officer for Non Communicable Diseases, Directorate of Health Services Govt of Goa. Also present on the occasion was Shri. Sudhesh R Naik: Panaji Police Station Police Inspector.

On the occasion Dr. Shekhar Salkar, Secretary NOTE said “We heartily thank the GoaGovernment for issuing the order on vendor licensing. He called ULB to implement it in letter and spirit for saving lives of future generations”.

Mr. Amarjeet Singh, Advisor Legal,Consumer VOICE, Delhi made a presentation on tobacco vendor licensing and told that “Our recent study pointed that the density of tobacco vendors is too high even in residential areas as we found 198 tobacco point of sale in 2 areas of Goa. We observed several violation of COTPA at PoS.The Vendor licensing order issued by Department of Urban Development can be very effective in tobacco control.” he added.

Shri Sanjit Rodrigues- Commissioner of the Corporation of the City of Panaji, talked about role of municipal bodies in tobacco control in the state.and extended his full support.

Mr. Pramod Acharya Editor of Prudent Media mentioned about importance of media in tobacco control. He explained how media can help to decrease tobacco consumptions by people.He also asked ngo’s to find out ways to tackle indirect advertising on social media which is targeting youths.

Speaking on the occasion Dr. Jose D’Sa- Director Directorate of Health Services [DHS] said that in Goa though average tobacco consumption is low but illicit tobacco, new cheap flavored tobacco products is serious concern and smokeless tobacco consumption is growing rapidly.

Consultation ended with panel Discussion on the “needs and strategies for tobacco vendor licensing to protect our younger generation “
followed by open session. Health Expert/Doctor, Head Tobacco Control Cell, Officials from Health and Urban Development Department, Police Officials along with others actively participated in the workshop.

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