KMC launches drive against smoking and tobacco habit

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Feb 25, 2018-

The Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has come up with 18 months ‘Healthy City Programme’ to ban the use of tobacco and smoking in the public places.  

Unveiling the plan, on Friday, KMC Mayor Bidhya Sundhar Shakya said, there will be no compromise in implementing this drive. “In a bid to control its massive use, the government has made it expensive. Government makes a good income through it.  But public are paying higher amount for their treatment,” said Shakya.  

He said the campaign will be effective in sending the message to the mass that smoking and consuming tobacco at the public place is punishable. 

The existing Tobacco Product (Control and regulatory) Act -2011 bars smoking in public places such as government offices, corporation, parks, libraries, airports, public  vehicles, childcare centres, cinema hall, hotels, restaurants, department stores, boys and girls hostel, industries and religious sites.  However, the Act has largely become ineffective.

The Metropolitan Police Range Kathmandu on February 2016, had come up with an action to punish people smoking in public places and also booked nearly 1,000 people, but the drive could not continue effectively for longer period. According to the law, anyone breaching the law is liable to a fine of Rs 100 to Rs100,000 depending on the nature of the violation. 

The officials at the KMC say, this time, the metropolis will make the drive more effective. 

KMC Public Health Department Chief Hari Kumar Shrestha said, to control the use of tobacco, a committee of 15-16 people would be formed in all the wards in the metropolis for door-to-door awareness programme. 

Since 2015, cigarette manufacturers have been required to place graphic health warnings covering 90 percent of the front and back part of every tobacco product. 

Speaking at a press meet, Kathmandu District Health Office Chief Mahendra Prasad  Shrestha stressed on importance of disseminating effective messages against the use of tobacco. Based on the World Health Organisation’s Non-communicable Diseases (NCD) Risk Factors, STEPS Survey Nepal 2013 shows; smoking, drinking, dietary habits and physical inactivity are the main causes of death in Nepal.

If effectively implemented, the KMC will be the 50th city in the world to implement Healthy Cities Programme. 

World Health Organisation Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI) has provided Rs. 10 million in assistance to the KMC to conduct the Healthy City campaign. The government’s record says, annually 16,000 people die of tobacco consumption in Nepal. 

Published: 25-02-2018 07:51

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