New Delhi– The Delhi government’s Health Department on Wednesday urged the Central Board of Secondary Education and its Education Department to derecognise schools not following tobacco-free school guidelines.
In a letter to both bodies, the Health Department has said that it had been urging schools to adopt tobacco-free guidelines as per Tobacco-Free Delhi initiative as part of Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) 2003, and the Delhi Prohibition of Smoking and Non Smoker’s Health Protection Act 1996.
Additional Director (Health) S.K. Arora said 14.1 per cent students, up to the age of 15 years, were currently using tobacco products, with 4.2 per cent students currently smoking cigarettes.
“In view of repeatedly circulated Tobacco-Free School guidelines and the existing act for last 21 years, if a school still does not follow or implement these guidelines to protect the children, then the CBSE accreditation or recognition of such schools should be withdrawn immediately apart from legal action as per COTPA 2003 & Delhi Act 1996,” Arora said in the letter.
In the existing guidelines, there is a provisions of identifying a nodal officer, mandatory display of tobacco-free zone boards and no-smoking signages along with contact details of nodal officers to ensure prohibition of tobacco sale within 100-metre radius of an educational institution.
It also calls for constitution of a tobacco-free school committee. (IANS)