How to Curb Nicotine Use Among Students?


College students smoking cigarettes The Indian government’s ban on smoking in public places has received mixed reviews from various sets of people. For instance, office executives who usually catch up over a cigarette or use smoke as a way of releasing stress, raised eyebrows over the decision.

Though, some offices are rather strict, some find their way out. However, for college and school students the written ban really means nothing but a piece of paper. In fact, smoking amongst college students has not been affected by the ban.

Most students either have turned a deaf ear towards the ban, or pretend that they have never heard of it. Thus, the bottom line is that students continue to smoke blatantly. Though, educational institutions have been strict with their on-campus smoking rules, there is nothing stopping the students.

Says Professor Vandana Joshi from a reputed Mumbai College, "We can stop them from smoking on campus, but we really can’t follow them everywhere. What we really need is a sound guidance cell that helps students stop this habit on their will, rather than being forced to give up." She adds, "The more students are pressurised against smoking, the more they will continue smoking. Thus, as teachers we must in our own way guide and counsel them against smoking."

It’s not just colleges, smoking is equally rampant amongst school students. Anbumani Ramadoss, the Union minister for health and family welfare, pointed out in one of his speeches that 13 per cent of children in the age group of 13-16 years consume tobacco.

And, to address this concern, the health ministry has allocated Rs 22 lakhs for each district to create awareness about the adverse effects of tobacco in the country, targeting educational institutions. But, is this enough? Or do we need to take more drastic steps against the killer habit?

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