International Women’s Day observed by Consumers’ Legal Protection Forum

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Empowering Women towards a Smoke-Free Healthy Future

Guwahati, March 7: On International Women’s Day, Consumers’ Legal Protection Forum, Assam in collaboration with Consumer VOICE, New Delhi organized a sensitization workshop and slogan competition in Jyotisikha Mahila Samannay Parishad Auditorium, Panjabari, Guwahati with women professional from various fields doctors, lawyers, social activists etc. on the theme of Strengthen Tobacco Control Law to Save Lives’ Empowering Women towards a Smoke-Free Healthy Future . Jyotisikha Mahila Samannay Parishad, Pratishruti Cancer & Palliative Trust and Inner Wheel Club of Guwahati East supported the program.

On the occasion, women from different walks appealed to strengthen the tobacco control law to curb the tobacco menace. More than hundred women participated in the slogan competition and urged to remove the designated smoking areas to make India 100 percent smoke free and banning the point of sale to save the younger children and youth from the menace of tobacco. Prize was also distributed among the first three winners. After the competition, all slogans were send to PMO- India.

Nearly 50% of all cancers in India are due to tobacco. Smoking worsens lung function and reduces immunity. All designated smoking areas in hotels and restaurants and even airports should be removed to ensure a 100% smoke free environment. Global Adult Tobacco Survey revealed that 33% of women and 48.2% of all adults either smoke tobacco and/ or use smokeless tobacco in the state of Assam. Apart around 40 percent of women exposed to second hand smoke at home in our country according to data. To strengthen the tobacco control law there is urgent need to initiate the amendment process of tobacco control law says Advocate Ajoy Hazarika, Secretary Consumers’ Legal Protection Forum, Assam .

Dr. Dippy Aggarwal, Senior Consultant, OBS & Gynecology said in her speech “Tobacco in any form is dangerous and deadly. It is alarming that children and teens are lured towards the tobacco addiction. Tobacco use can cause cancer, cancer of mouth, oesophagus, lung cancer etc. Women smokers have risk of stroke, haemorrhage and other problems related to reproductive system. A strong action must be taken to protect women from the harms of tobacco use and exposure to second hand smoke.”

Swapnali Mahanta, Eminent Writer & Social Worker also present in the Sensitization Workshop and said Along with men, women also consume tobacco products in our country. Even though the numbers are less but the health harms are more in some cases. Women smokers are at a greater risk of developing cervical cancer, osteoporosis and conditions of reproductive system along with stroke. To tackle this, we need stringent policies for tobacco control and can save millions of lives.

(press release)

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