'People need to build resistance against smoking'
Kolkata: State Additional Director of Health Services (ADHS) Saibal Banerjee, who is also the nodal officer of state Tobacco Control Cell, stated that consumption of tobacco can be reduced and stopped if the law is enforced accordingly and people build resistance against the offenders.
On Tuesday, during a discussion on 'keep Kolkata tobacco-free', Banerjee said: "Police need to act against the people who are smoking in public places as per the law. People also need to build resistance against those who do not think about others around him and smoke. However, building resistance does not mean attacking anyone. The offenders need to feel ashamed."
According to surgical oncologist Gautam Mukhopadhyay, mass awareness is a must besides enforcing the law. He stated that the definition of private places and public places by the government is not clear. If anyone smokes at his or her house, they might be harming their family members, despite the place being private.
He further informed that every year around 80,000 people are being diagnosed with cancer, among which a good number of patients are suffering from oral and lung cancer due to consumption of tobacco.
According to Mukhopadhyay, police must implement the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) stringently.
Clinical oncologist Mahfuz Ariff suggested including the bad effects of tobacco consumption in the school-level syllabus.
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