As part of essential reading for school students, the Health Ministry has recently decided to introduce anti-tobacco pictorial warning in the school books to discourage the consumption of tobacco among the youth. In order to make this proposal a success, the health ministry is presently in talks with the human resource development ministry.
According to some sources there are on an average 6000 youngsters who start to consume tobacco product every day in the country. In order to keep a tab on the rising numbers the health ministry has even proposed an anti-tobacco literature in various forms such as pictorial warnings, posters, cartoons, comic strips, a chapter detailing health hazards from tobacco use etc.
According to an official of the ministry, “The idea is to catch them young and create awareness at an early stage so as to prevent them from picking up such habit. The proposal will be soon taken up with the HRD ministry.”
The Health Minister J P Nadda will soon urge the HRD ministry to include tobacco-related pictorial information in the school curriculum for the students who are aged between 12 and 15. This is an ideal age when the children start experimenting with tobacco and form a bad habit of consuming the same on a regular basis. The health ministry has taken stern steps to mobilize the harmful effects of tobacco and smoking. It had recently ordered all the cigarette making companies to increase the pictorial warning signs on the packets from 40% to 85%. The pictorial warnings are expected to bring awareness among the students and inclusion in school education would ensure that the students take a holistic approach towards the same.
The World Health Organization(WHO) reports has shown that the large and hard-hitting pictorial warnings and anti-tobacco advertisements have done wonders so far and has taken up the number of people who want to quit smoking.