Mumbai : Following a survey conducted by the Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA), which stated that 70 per cent of police officers consume tobacco, a movement for tobacco-free Mumbai police stations was launched on Friday at Police Club in Mumbai.
Through the programme, the CPAA along with Mumbai Police will ensure that police officers quit tobacco and lead a stress-free, healthy life. Further, incentives will be given to tobacco-free police stations, said Deven Bharati, Joint CP (Law and Order) at the occasion.
Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Dr P S Pasricha said, “We are the caretakers of society. It is therefore very important to take care of your health first. If you are not fit, then how are you going to serve the nation?”
While talking about the ill-effects of tobacco and other important related issues, Vineet Gill, technical officer, WHO India, said, “Companies are now using pan masala to promote tobacco and we need to stop this. About 5,000 children start using tobacco everyday in India. Every one hour, 3,000 people die from tobacco usage in the country. It is therefore imperative for all of us to take care in ensuring that tobacco in any format is avoided at all costs.”
Atulchandra Kulkarni, the Joint Commissioner of Police (crime), said, “We have 93 police stations in Mumbai and a total police force of 55,000. I request all the policemen to take a pledge that henceforth, we will give up this addiction and avoid this deadly disease.”
Bollywood actor and CPAA brand ambassador Vivek Oberoi said, “Mumbai city is safe because of the police. Next year, I will announce that 100 policemen are free from tobacco. On behalf of Mumbai Police, today we decide that within one year we will become a tobacco-free police force and make Mumbai an ideal city in the country.”
On this occasion, Kulkarni and Gill handed over voice boxes to three patients. Arjun Pawar (30), who had been chewing tobacco for the past 10 years, was diagnosed with cancer of the tongue and will be operated by the end of this month. Krishna Jagam (31) is another mouth cancer patient and Shakuntala Bhosale is a 65-year-old widow living with her daughter.