ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Neeta GhateSubscribe to Neeta Ghate

School-based Tobacco Health Hazards Awareness Initiative in India

Prevention and control of diseases are neglected cost-effective measures with a long-term advantage. There is an urgency to focus on preventing tobacco use, the single largest preventable risk factor for non-communicable diseases. In India, tobacco use is predominantly in the form of smokeless tobacco. Adolescents are the most susceptible group for initiation of tobacco use. Our experience of conducting a tobacco (smoking and smokeless tobacco products use) hazards awareness programme for adolescents in Class 8 to 10 in Mumbai, from 2014 to February of 2020 for 15,475 students (including both boys and girls), has shown encouraging results. These students can in turn spread the message. Currently, there is no uniform school-based tobacco use prevention programme in India. Our initiative needs consideration for systematic nationwide implementation for reducing future NCD burden. With the changed scenario due to the pandemic, we are exploring a strategy of training teachers to implement this initiative with online tools.
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