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Today the Honorable Minister for Health and Family welfare and Medical Education, Dr. Sudhakar K. launched the #IndiaVsTobacco campaign, which engages young people, parents and institutions to work towards a tobacco-free India, by unveiling QR code-enabled billboards and posters in Bengaluru. The interactive billboards aim to generate conversations about the health risks that tobacco inflicts on our society and spread awareness on the harms of secondhand smoke. Led by State Health Department, Government of Karnataka, and technical partner, Vital Strategies, the billboards will run till World No Tobacco Day, 31st May 2022 at prominent public places in the city.

Dr. Sudhakar K., Honorable Minister for Health and Family welfare and Medical Education states: “Secondhand smoke is one of the major culprits of ill health that most Indians face whether they smoke tobacco products themselves or not. This is why there needs to be more awareness and discussion on why and how we can become a smoke-free, tobacco-free society. I am sure the interactive billboards and poster will raise necessary awareness among public, especially among our youth”.

Dr. Selvaraj, Deputy Director, Health and Family Welfare, Government of Karnataka said: “Though we have seen the decline in prevalence of smoking in the state, yet there is a need to strengthen and intensify the efforts, especially targeting the youth population to prevent death and diseases among this productive age group. Public education campaigns such as #IndiavsTobacco will contribute towards our commitment towards tobacco free generation”.

Vaishakhi Mallik, Associate Director (South Asia,) Vital Strategies, said: “The idea was to shine a light on the health impact that secondhand smoking has on everyone and that it cannot be taken lightly. We wanted to create something that would pique people’s curiosity enough to stop and engage with the billboard and then help spread the message of tobacco-free India to their peers and family. The intention is to make people rethink tobacco use, given how harmful secondhand smoke can be to people’s health.”

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