New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) Delhi Health Minister Kiran Walia Friday said that tobacco health warnings will be strictly implemented in the state.
'Packaging industries will also be warned to follow the guidelines of the government by May 31. We are committed to make Delhi a smoke-free by the end of 2009,' said Walia, while releasing a short film 'Tobacco: Threat to Life & Development' on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, observed at the India Habitat Centre here.
She said in order to make Delhi smoke-free, a number of schemes have been launched by the government. The Smoke-free Delhi by 2009 project will implemented in collaboration with Bloomberg Initiative which is a group of renowned international organisations including the World Health Organisation (WHO), International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, World Lung Foundation, Centre for Disease Control, US and John Hopkins School of Public Health, US.
'Mass awareness campaign, partnership development with the civil society under Bhagidari concept will be launched to motivate public opinion against consumption of tobacco products,' Walia said, according to an official statement.
The minister announced that on World No Tobacco Day, the Delhi government has planned to organise road shows in universities to motivate and make the young students aware of the evils of smoking and consumption of tobacco.
'Apart from this, 10 mega slum clusters have been chosen in five districts of Delhi - two in each district for launching door-to-door awareness programme against the evils of tobacco. This action plan will be implemented with the help of NGOs,' the statement added.
The health minister said that Delhi government will partner with the central government, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), and private institutions for the initiative.
'Nodal officers are being identified for compliance of smoke-free laws within their respective jurisdictions; 76 government departments have identified nodal officers and they have been trained to implement smoke-free laws in their respective jurisdiction,' the statement said.
She also appealed to Delhiites to make Say No to Tobacco campaign a success in order to save lives of hundred of thousands of people.
Walia further disclosed that they have formed eight raiding squads to stop smoking in public places in Delhi. These squads have conducted raids on 15,033 public places and has fined 10,456 persons while 51,120 public vehicles have been raided and 906 public vehicles have been fined.
As many as 432 vendors were fined and a total amount of over Rs.1.07 million was realized from the violators.