The capital district of Thiruvananthapuram was declared "tobacco advertisement free" and "tobacco free educational district" on Friday, thus marking a significant milestone in Kerala's public health initiatives.
With this, it will have no tobacco advertisement boards at the points of sale, said Kerala Health Minister V.S.Sivakumar in the presence of senior officers of health, education and police departments at a function organised by the district medical office.
"The government realizes the fact that tobacco is not just a health hazard but is also causative factor for initiation to many crimes. Use of these products hamper the way forward for our society and disturbs balanced growth," he said.
The minister called upon stakeholders including students, teachers, parents and the society at large to come together for this endeavo.
A.S.Pradeep Kumar, additional director of health services (public health) and nodal officer for tobacco control, said of the 90 lakh deaths in the country annually, nearly 13 percent are tobacco-induced.
"In Kerala, nearly 40,000 people die from tobacco use yearly, accounting for more than 10 percent of total deaths," he said Kumar.