Mangaluru, July 19,2017: Passive smoking in homes is taking a toll on others’ health, now the district tobacco control cell has launched a campaign called ’Smoke Free Home Initiative’. The cell under the Health and Family Welfare Department will take the initiative forward with the Department of Public Health Dentistry, AJ Institute of Dental Sciences.
As part of the initiative, the campaign will cover Mangaluru taluk in the first phase. In all, 31 primary health centres and two community health centres in the taluk catering to 10.6 lakh people will be covered, with doctors from AJ institute conducting awareness camps. On the other hand, 373 Asha workers in the taluk (293 in rural areas and 80 in urban) will carry out door-to-door awareness campaigns against the ill-effects of smoking.
Taluk Health Officer Dr Naveen Chandra said: "Posters printed with awareness slogans such as ’Together we can make our community smoke-free’ will be distributed in all PHCs, while the services of counsellors will be utilised to educate smokers against continuing the habit."
Earlier during the day, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat, M R Ravi, launched the initiative. "At a time when the country is poised for a better future with the majority of the population being youth, young denizens getting addicted to bad habits is an alarming trend. It’s not just the issue of physical health, but also mental health," he said.
While the level of education and awareness among people will go a long way in curbing such habits, the law can just be a reason to control such addictions, he added.
Describing passive smoking as an alarming issue, Ravi said the health of the community was important but dealing with it remained a challenge.
Dr Vijaya Hegde, HoD, Public Health Dentistry, gave a peek into the initiative and said professionals would go door to door, testing people for nicotine in their bodies. The role of the best PHCs will be acknowledged in the final stage of the initiative, he added.