The Union is supporting efforts to declare Hyderabad a smokefree city in the lead up to the 50th Union World Conference on Lung Health, taking place in Hyderabad from 30 October – 2 November 2019.
“Smokefree Hyderabad” will ensure that smokefree laws are implemented in all public places in the city to protect people from secondhand smoke exposure, which causes life-threatening diseases and is responsible for over a million deaths each year globally. The initiative will emphasise the mandatory display of “no smoking” signs, enforcement of smokefree laws in all public and work places and the prohibition of tobacco sales in and around educational premises.
In the week leading up to World No Tobacco Day (31 May 2019), The Union delivered two capacity building workshops for the Hyderabad City Police Department, training more than 350 senior- and mid-level police officers and enforcement officials on smokefree laws. The City Police Commissioner, Mr Anjani Kumar, inaugurated the workshops and said: “the general health of the public should be improved. For any family to prosper, being healthy is necessary.”
Union Technical Advisor, Mr Govind Kumar Tripathi, facilitated the training which focused on the ‘Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act 2003’, with an emphasis on Section 4, which relates to reducing the public’s exposure to secondhand smoke by making public places smokefree.
“This training is important to strengthen the capacity of police officers to enforce smokefree laws”, said Dr Rana J Singh, Deputy Regional Director for South East Asia at The Union. “However, multi-stakeholder engagement in this initiative with a focus on all government departments, media and civil society will also be crucial for achieving the goal of a smokefree Hyderabad.”
To garner public support and raise awareness of this initiative, The Union organised a sports event called “Run for smokefree Hyderabad” on the eve of World No Tobacco Day, in partnership with the Department of Health, Medical and Family Welfare, Government of Telangana, and the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation. Around 500 people showed their support for Smokefree Hyderabad by taking part in the two kilometre run, including health professionals, members of medical and dental associations, media personnel, civil society representatives, social activists, students and members of the general public.
In his speech at the event, Mr E Rajendra, Minister of Health, Medical and Family Welfare, Government of Telangana, acknowledged the relevance and importance of this year’s World No Tobacco Day theme: Tobacco and Lung health. He said that, on behalf of Hyderabad and the state of Telangana, he would be proud to welcome Union World Conference delegates from around the world to a smokefree Hyderabad in October.