Amritsar to Hold Awareness Campaign Against Drugs and Tobacco

by VR Sreeraman on Sep 19 2007 6:24 PM

In an effort to make Amritsar free from drugs and tobacco, the Khalsa Action Committee (KAC) will undertake an Anti-Tobacco and an Anti-Drug march on Thursday.

“We want to declare a full-scale war on these enemies of society and humanity. It is our earnest desire that the holy city of Amritsar should be rid of drugs and tobacco related products,” said Kawarnpal Singh, a spokesperson of the KAC.

The march will start from the Gurdwara Baba Deep Singh Shaheed (Chattiwind Chowk) at 10:00 a.m. and will end at the District Courts by 2.30 p.m.

Reacting to the contents of the 'World Drug Report' released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) that labels “Punjab as the world's number one transit point for opium" the KAC, said: “The startling revelation is a pointer that Punjab is on the path of destruction.”

It further said that the border districts of Amritsar and Gurdaspur are in the throes of drug and tobacco-abuse on a large scale.

“We want to create awareness amongst school and college students in general and youth of border district in particular,” Singh said

The KAC alleged that the sale of all kinds of drugs in Amritsar has crossed all acceptable limits and drug peddlers are enjoying their trade and the masses are in a state of helplessness.

Tobacco and tobacco-related products are affecting a majority of people. Children can be seen chewing tobacco-related products easily available in attractive packaging.

According to Health Ministry, 40 percent of the health problems are due to tobacco, with one million deaths recorded annually as a result of tobacco-related illnesses.

The Parliament recently passed a law making it optional for tobacco companies to introduce prominent health warnings on cigarette packets. Health warning includes pictorial depiction of skull and cross bones and such other warning.

The government has been struggling to enforce 2003 legislation for more prominent health messages.

A 2003 anti-smoking law also bans mass media advertising of tobacco products, except at sales points.