Children to help make South Goa smoke-free

Panaji, May 9 (IANS) Children will be at the forefront of a campaign in South Goa district, which is aimed to make the area smoke-free, an official said Thursday.

At a meeting of the district’s task force committee on tobacco control, officials formalised a plan to make the district smoke-free by the end of May. Goa is made up of two administrative districts, North Goa and South Goa.

“We have made a plan which involves children, school students especially, who along with our officials will spread both awareness and keep tabs on violations of the COPTA (Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003),” a senior district official told reporters here.

“It was also decided to have a rigorous drive against smoking by the enforcement squads apart from having a signature campaign, drawing competitions for school children at various blocks,” the official said.

The children were asked to educate their parents, if any of them are smokers, about the ill effects of smoking as well as to tell them about the importance of not smoking in public places.

Various government departments and officials like magistrates, education department directorate of food and drug administration, directorate of panchayats have been directed to book cases and implement the COPTA, apart from other agencies like the police department.

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