National Consultation on Commit to Quit-A Road Towards Tobacco Endgame in India
50+ National Associations formed ‘Alliance for Tobacco-Free India (ATFI)’ during a National Consultation on World No Tobacco Day
On the Occasion of World No Tobacco Day, a National Consultation on ‘Commit to Quit A Road Towards Tobacco Endgame in India’ was held on 31st May 2021 virtually by the Resource Centre for Tobacco Control under the Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh in collaboration with the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (The Union), National Resource Center for Oral Health Care of Children and Elderly OHSC, PGIMER Chandigarh and Strategic Institute for Public Health Education and Research (SIPHER).
The presidents and secretaries of 50+ national-level organizations from the country participated in the consultation. The purpose of the consultation was to seek perspectives of key stakeholders, associations and opinion leaders from the country on how to move ahead on the Tobacco Endgame in India.
The recommendations from this high-level consultation will be shared with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and other important policymakers. All the representing associations also agreed to form an ‘Alliance for Tobacco-Free India (ATFI)’ for working together for capacity building and sensitization of members of the association, undertaking policy advocacy for tobacco control, conducting contextual research, steering IEC and public health awareness campaigns, and navigating synergistic media advocacy with an overall objective of “Tobacco Endgame in India”.
On this World No Tobacco Day, we should all pledge to partner for taking the tobacco endgame agenda to the policymakers, said Dr Sonu Goel, Professor, PGIMER, and Director Resource Centre for Tobacco Control, Chandigarh while welcoming the dignitaries. Dr Jagdish Kaur, Regional Advisor (Tobacco Free Initiative), WHO SEARO, New Delhi delivered the keynote address on the WNTD theme ‘Commit to Quit’. While urging tobacco users to quit now as they are at higher risk of serious COVID19, she said that the COVID19 pandemic triggered millions of smokers to quit tobacco.
Dr P.C. Gupta, Director Healis Seksharia Institute of Public Health, Navi Mumbai urged physicians, public health experts and office bearers of participating organizations to use the opportunity of the COVID19 pandemic and sensitize stakeholders by spreading awareness about the dangers of using tobacco.
After this, the winners of a National Competition on Short Ad Films on “Tb and Tobacco” that was announced in March 2021 were declared. In the later part of the consultation, mapping of roles of various organizations and associations through poll gauging for the development of a roadmap for the next 3 months was done.
It was followed by a thorough discussion by Dr Arpit Gupta, Assistant Professor, OHSC PGIMER, National Resource Center for Oral Health Care of Children and Elderly with leaders of the association on their potential roles and ideas which can be planned in the future to achieve “Tobacco Endgame