Farhat Naik

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ALIF organizes awareness workshop on ‘World No Tobacco Day’

Tangmarg: A recent study by World Health Organization (WHO) stated that ‘tobacco kills over 7 million people each year’ and yet the use of tobacco is common among masses as one in each five persons is either a smoker or uses tobacco in one or the other form.

Despite the steady reduction in its use globally, as confirmed by various health organizations in their annual reports, numerous cases of tobacco affected people are still recorded each day in every corner of the world.

In order to do its bit and spread awareness regarding the deadly impacts of Tobacco on human health, Arts in Life Initiative Foundation- ALIF organized a ‘Writing-cum-Painting’ workshop at its office at Chanpora, Tangmarg. The workshop was attended by several students of Fazili Kashmiri Memorial Government Higher Secondary School, Chandilora Tangmarg.

The participants shared their views regarding the deadly repercussions of use of tobacco and its impact on the overall health scenario.

In their essays and paintings, the students highlighted the various health hazards of tobacco use and also made some interesting suggestions for those who wanted to quit tobacco use.

Speaking on the occasion, Adil Ahmad War, a member of ALIF, said that while most of the tobacco products come with a clear health warning drafted on the packing’s, the use of it is hardly reduced. “It is ironic that even the stark naked warnings depicted on the packing’s of tobacco productions haven’t been able to persuade tobacco consumers to quit. One is bewildered to know the health hazards of tobacco consumption and equally shocked to know the number of tobacco users around the globe,” he said.

World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is observed around the world every year on 31 May. It is intended to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption around the globe.

The day is further intended to draw attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and to negative health effects, which currently lead to nearly 7 million deaths each year worldwide, including 600,000 of which are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.

It is pertinent to mention that the member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) created World No Tobacco Day in 1987. In the few decades, the day has been met with both enthusiasm and resistance around the globe from governments, public health organizations, smokers, growers, and the tobacco industry.

Interacting with the students and ALIF team, Javid Ahmad, Teacher  of the Fazili Kashmiri Memorial Government Higher Secondary School, who accompanied the students to the venue, said that smoking was a serious health concern as much as the use of any other tobacco product and added that “If one wanted to stop smoking or using tobacco products, one has to make small changes in lifestyle and gradually build the resistance required to beat this addiction.”

He further said that hundreds of millions of tobacco users around the globe were still unaware of the deadly diseases caused by tobacco which, he further added, demanded that more and more awareness was generated to bring about a behavioral change.

Appreciating ALIF for the workshop, Javid Ahmad further said that it was a break from the traditional structure of workshops and was designed to give maximum time to the students to discuss the various nuances of the theme and write, either independently or in groups, about their observations, suggestions, ideas and thoughts vis-à-vis the theme. “ Such concepts of working together are very rare and we unfortunately tend to enter into a competition every time we have to participate in an event. But here, I must congratulate ALIF for organizing such a workshop in which students collectively shared their ideas without competing with each other.”

Altaf Ahmad, another member of ALIF while briefing the students about the event said that diseases caused by smoking included COPD and most types of lung cancer. “Smokers are 12 to 13 times more likely to die from COPD than nonsmokers,” he added.

The students took time in discussing, amongst themselves as well as with the members of ALIF, the theme and submitted their write-ups, essays, paintings and posters at the end of the event. The organization provided the participants with the stationery, art material as well as refreshment.

The organization thanked the principal, Mr. Mukhtar Ahmad Shah, the Vice Principal and other faculty members of the Fazili Kashmiri Memorial Government Higher Secondary School for inculcating an appetite for learning among the students of the institute and also for encouraging them to take part in such workshops intended to raise awareness and instill a feeling of responsible citizenry.

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