The Jharkhand government has asked its staff to file affidavits, stating that they would not consume tobacco, while declaring its offices as tobacco-free zones, officials said on Thursday. In a recent meeting of the State Tobacco Control Coordination Committee, Chief Secretary Sukhdev Singh directed officials to declare the secretariat, police headquarters, all offices in the districts and blocks as tobacco-free zones, they said.
Boards with 'tobacco-free zone' written on them should be put up in all government offices, Singh directed. Besides, such boards should also be put up at the main gates of private sector companies, he said.
It was directed that all state government employees will have to provide an affidavit that they would not consume tobacco. The chief secretary also directed the deputy commissioners to take action against shops selling tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions.
To prevent the movement of banned pan masala and illegal tobacco in the state, Singh directed the deputy commissioners and superintendents of police of border districts to constantly monitor check-posts and other entry points. The chief secretary said that tobacco control activities should be carried out up to the panchayat level.
He also asked the secretary of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department to direct the members of the Zilla Parishads, Panchayat Samitis and Gram Panchayats to focus on the issue. Besides, tobacco control should be discussed in every meeting of the Gram Sabhas, he directed.
Further, he instructed for a vigorous campaign against banned pan masala and illegal tobacco vendors in the state..