The volunteers of the Goa Women’s Forum (GWF) held a protest against the sale of tobacco to minors by a gadda near the headquarters of the Directorate of Health Services, Campal, Panaji. Armed with black flags and placards, the GWF volunteers raised slogans calling for strict enforcement of the sections of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 and to stop to the sale of tobacco to minors.
The protest organised by GWF on 14th November, Children’s Day, was also the occasion to launch its initiative Mothers against Tobacco, which will be the platform to resist the huge sale of smoking and chewing tobacco in the state of Goa.
Mothers against Tobacco (MAT) will seek to address the blatant violations of COTPA 2003, the poor awareness levels among mothers about the impact of tobacco on a child’s health and the illicit tobacco products being sold along the tourism belt, among other tobacco-related issues.
A delegation of GWF volunteers then met the Director of Health Services Dr Geeta Kakodkar and the State Nodal Officer NCDC and Deputy Director (Public Health) Dr Rupa Naik and discussed in detail the concerns about the huge sale and consumption of tobacco and the burden on the health of the people of Goa. The DHS officials were also briefed about the Mothers against Tobacco initiative of GWF.
The DHS officials agreed to take up the various pending meetings on priority as required as well as to file a formal complaint with the Corporation of the City of Panaji and the Mamlatdar of Tiswadi taluka against the concerned gadda selling tobacco to minors.