Andhra, Gujarat get $5 mn for anti-tobacco campaign

New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has granted $5 million for strengthening the National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, a statement said Saturday.

The grant will be given to the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), a Delhi based public-private partnership, over a three- year period.

A PHFI release said smoking kills nearly one million people in India annually.

It is a leading cause of death among Indians aged 30 to 69. Studies suggest that 18 percent of the students in Gujarat use tobacco. Similarly, five in 10 youth in Andhra Pradesh are exposed to smoke in public places and over four in 10 have parents who smoke, chew or apply tobacco, increasing the chance for them to pick up tobacco habits, the statement said.

The grant will be used for preparing district specific strategies to reduce the number of tobacco users in these states.

The NTCP aims at creating public awareness against tobacco use, setting up of testing labs and monitoring adult tobacco-use surveys.

–Indo Asian news Service

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