More than 700 citizens participated in a walkathon on Monday morning with a slogan to ‘make Guwahati a tobacco-free city’.
Such a walkathon was organized for the first time in Guwahati.
It was organized by the Consumers’ Legal Protection Forum, Assam and Consumer VOICE, New Delhi in association with Pathik.
The walkers moved towards Six Mile and culminated at Ganesh Mandir Indoor Stadium, Khanapara via the U-turn in front of the College of Veterinary Science, AAU.
The 5-km walkathon was organized on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day.
“The purpose of the walkathon was to sensitise stakeholders and create awareness among people for effective tobacco control measures to protect young generation from tobacco menace and make Guwahati a tobacco-free city,” stated a Consumers Legal Protection Forum (CLPF), Guwahati press communique.
According to the Global Adults Tobacco Survey, in Assam, 25.3 pc of men, 0.8 pc of women and 13.3 pc of all adults currently smoke tobacco while 50.5 pc of men and 32.5 pc of women and 41.7 pc of all adults currently use smokeless tobacco.
The mean age at initiation of tobacco use has increased from 18.1 pc to 18.5 pc.
When tobacco use in the country decreased from 34.6 pc to 28.6 pc, in Assam it increased from 39.3 per cent to 48.2 per cent, it stated.
The walkathon, started at 7 am, was flagged off at Hiteswar Saikia College field by Dr. L.R. Bishnoi, ADGP, CID; Debeswar Malakar, commissioner, Guwahati Municipal Corporation; Dr. Amal Chandra Kataki, director, Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute; Dr. Arundhuti Deka, state nodal officer, State Tobacco Control Cell; Akash Pradhan, senior executive, Assam Cancer Care Foundation.
“The walkathon was joined by more than 700 school and college students, teachers, eminent personalities, celebrities, women organizations, civil societies, consumer organizations, police and government officials and senior citizens,” it further stated.
The walkathon was followed by an awareness meeting at Ganesh Mandir Indoor Stadium, Khanapara to create awareness on tobacco among the young generation.
“The participants took oath not to use tobacco and tobacco related products in whole life at the end of the awareness meeting,” the communiqué added.