Sunday, February 1, 2009

Smoke Free Delhi Before Commonwealth Games

Smoke Free Delhi Before Commonwealth GamesChief Minister Sheila Dixit is all set to add another feather to her cap. With the view to make the NCR smoke-free before the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the Delhi cabinet has started an ambitious project in association with a prominent US institution for public health.

On Wednesday, the Delhi cabinet had cleared a Rs 10 crore project to be enforced by the government in association with the Bloomberg Global Initiative (BGI). It is learnt that out of these Rs 10 crores, Rs 4 crores will be contributed by BGI while the rest would be contributed by the Delhi government. Established in 2006, the Bloomberg Initiative aims to cut down the use of tobacco worldwide. The ambitious project would be implemented in two years with effect from October 2008 to September 2010.

Confirming the development, Sheila Dixit said, “The government is committed to making Delhi smoke-free before the Commonwealth Games and this project will protect the citizens from the ill effects of exposure to tobacco smoke.”

Apart from this, the Delhi government is all set to sign a MoU with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA for exchange of technical know-how and facility building to set up Air Nicotine monitoring devices in some planned locations of the capital.

According to the available statistics, tobacco continues to be the second major cause of death. Nearly 45 per cent men and 7 per cent of women in Delhi have the habit of smoking.

As per the Central Tobacco Control Act (2003) and the Delhi Prohibition of Smoking and Non-Smokers' Health Protection Act (1996), smoking is prohibited in places of public work or use and public service vehicles.