Srinagar Jun 23 In a bid to protect the youth from the harmful effects of tobacco, the Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) has issued circular instructions to all educational institutions in the Kashmir division to raise awareness among students, teachers, and other stakeholders regarding the ‘Guidelines for Tobacco Free Educational Institutions (ToFEI).
Notably, recognizing the urgent need to prevent children and young adults from initiating tobacco use, the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) of 2003 has implemented several provisions.
According to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), DSEK in a circular said, “These provisions include the prohibition of tobacco product sales within 100 yards of an educational institution, the ban on selling tobacco products to or by individuals under the age of 18, and the prohibition of any form of direct or indirect tobacco product advertisements.”
In line with the objective of early intervention and increasing awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has released the comprehensive ‘Guidelines for Tobacco Free Educational Institutions (ToFEI)’.
“It emphasizes the crucial role that educational institutions play in creating a healthy and tobacco-free environment in society,” the circular reads.
To actively promote these guidelines, the DSEK, in collaboration with the Directorate of Health Services Kashmir, has launched a dedicated campaign from 31st May to 31st July 2023 across all educational institutions in Kashmir.
“The campaign encompasses various activities such as awareness programs, pledge-taking ceremonies, essay writing, painting and quiz competitions, road rallies, and morning processions,” the circular reads.
In light of this initiative, the heads of all educational institutions in the Kashmir division have been placed under strict instructions to disseminate information about the ‘Guidelines for Tobacco Free Educational Institutions (ToFEI)’ and make concerted efforts to contribute towards a healthier India.
“The circular instructions must be strictly adhered to in order to ensure the success of this campaign and the overall goal of a tobacco-free educational environment,” the DSEK circular reads.
An official told KNO that by raising awareness among students, teachers, and stakeholders, the DSEK has taken an initiative to instill a sense of responsibility and understanding about the hazards of tobacco use.
“With the collective effort of educational institutions and the wider community, we can pave the way towards a healthier and tobacco-free future for youth particularly the school going children,” the official said—(KNO)
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