The Assam Government has started an SMS campaign to ensure all educational institutions are tobacco-free in Assam. Healis-Sekhsaria Institute for public health & Tata Trusts in association with the Assam education department and Dr B Barooah Cancer Institute in Guwahati had launched the Tobacco Free Educational Institutions (TFEI) campaign in Assam on the World Environment Day, on June 5 .
Following the launch, the Commissioner Secretary of the Assam Education Department had instructed the principal/heads of education institutions and the district education officers to implement the TFEI campaign across the state. As a follow up, the Rashtriya Madhyamik Siksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) has now started sending SMSs to the principals and heads of the government educational institutions across the state reminding them to implement the orders and declare their institutions as tobacco free. Secretary of Secondary Education Department of Assam Ramesh Chandra Jain said they have started sending SMSs to the principal and heads of the institutions through the centralised system of RMSA. The RMSA had sent 4,000 such SMSs to the principals/heads of government educations institutions on June 18. In order to declare the educational institutions tobacco-free, the heads/principals of the educational institution need to ensure that all signages inside and outside the educational institutions should be put up as per the law. There must not be any usage of tobacco products inside the premises, a self declaration along with photograph of the institution in the format sent along with the order needs to be sent to the DEO.
In Assam, 140 children initiate to use tobacco everyday. Over 85 lakh adults are consuming tobacco in some or the other form in Assam as per the Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2010. One-third of these would die an untimely death due to tobacco related diseases. Every year Assam witnesses 29,600 deaths due to tobacco consumption. UNI SG AKM AE RJ BL1906
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