Please don’t smoke, students to tell Bihar teachers

July 23rd, 2008 - 2:28 pm ICT by IANS  


Patna, July 23 (IANS) Teachers in Bihar consuming tobacco in any form better watch out as students will now keep an eye on them. If caught, the teachers will have to face the embarrassment of being educated by the students about the ill-effects of tobacco use as part of a special drive planned by the state government. Worried over high percentage of school teachers using tobacco in the school premises, the Bihar government plans to launch a campaign against tobacco in school grounds and school buildings.

“The government has decided to launch a campaign against tobacco in schools to turn them smoke and tobacco free,” K.P. Singh, an official of the education department, said here Wednesday.

Singh said that the campaign against tobacco in the schools was mooted to create awareness among students and teachers about the dangers of tobacco usage.

“The government will direct teachers not to consume tobacco in the school premises. But in case they violate the order, students will be asked to educate them about its harmful effects,” he said.

In a bid to discourage tobacco habit among students, teachers have to give up the smoking and tobacco in the school premises as a part of campaign against tobacco, Singh said.

According a recent survey report, it was found that 71 percent students and 78 percent teachers consume tobacco in one form or the other by the time they reach middle school.

It was found that tobacco usage usually begins in early adolescence. Smoking during childhood and adolescence produces significant health problems among young people.

Singh said that in the first phase, the campaign against tobacco will be launched in 10 of state’s 38 districts. “Campaign against tobacco will be launched soon in all the government and private schools in the selected districts, including Patna, Samastipur, and Bhagalpur,” he said.

The government will also enforce the Tobacco Control Order to ban the sale of tobacco products or cigarettes within 100 metres of school premises.

“Tobacco was mainly smoked as bidi, cigarette and hookah. It was used in smokeless form as gul (powdered form of pyrolysed tobacco), khaini (tobacco-lime mixtures), gutka (industrially manufactured and marketed tobacco product), and betel quid (consisting of fresh betel leaf, lime, catechu, areca nut and tobacco),” the report said.

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