|Trivandrum: Tobacco use in the State could be more effectively countered if the media would give strong support to the police, said Kerala police chief T P Senkumar.
He was inaugurating a media workshop on the ‘Role of Media and Police for Sustainable Tobacco Control in Kerala’ organised by Tobacco Free Kerala and Kesari Memorial Journalists' Trust here today.
According to Senkumar, the media should take the initiative to bring to the public’s notice the benefits of not using tobacco. “Sustainable tobacco control can be achieved only through awareness campaigns to students on its dangers,” he said.
“Though social media, which is hugely influential, can be used for creating awareness, there are also several underlying threats. It is seen that while smoking is on the decline in Kerala, other dreaded drugs are in rampant use,” Senkumar said.
However, he added, social media is also prone to being misused – for such activities as the sale of drugs. “There are even cyber quotation teams functioning in the state,” he said.
Though there will be impediments, Senkumar said momentum must not wane. Recalling that he had faced hurdles when he imposed the ban on smoking in jails during his tenure as DGP (Prisons) – “the Home Minister received around 250 complaints in a month”, he said “as soon as the prisoners recognised its good effects there were no complaints”.
P G Sureshkumar, Asianet News co-ordinating editor, moderated the workshop. He emphasised the need for joint efforts by health, police and excise officials along with the intervention of responsible media for effective tobacco control.
Dr. A S Pradeep Kumar, former additional director of health services (Public Health) and former nodal officer of tobacco control in Kerala, said, “There have been instances in social media, magazines and newspapers where products like e-cigarettes, more dangerous than cigarettes, were being promoted.”
As part of protecting children from the dangers of tobacco use the
police have formed school protection groups, installed complaint boxes,
held tobacco control rallies and conducted Teens Mission Safety
programmes with the help of psychologists and doctors, said Jawahar
Janard, Shanghumugham ACP.
Senkumar: Use Of Tobacco Can Be Controlled
On Dec 29, 2015