Clinical psychologists of Kerala have called upon the Kerala Government to make tobacco-free educational institutions a brand in the state.
Parents should be able to send children to educational institutions without any apprehension of their falling for dangerous tobacco use at a tender age, according to them.
In the wake of the recent Global Burden of Disease Study that said smoking killed 7.1 million in 2016, the Kerala unit of the Indian Asociation of Clinical Psychologists feels that the state can be a worthy example to the rest of the world by creating a brand of tobacco-free educational institutions.
It has called for a combination of measures including enforcement and stakeholder involvement to achieve this public health-friendly goal.
Dr Sany Varghese, President of the Association said "in our day-to-day clinical practice, we are witness to unfortunate cases of children going astray following an addiction to tobacco use. Criminal tendencies and even suicidal tendencies are reported in some students."
Licenses of shops selling tobacco products near educational institutions should be cancelled to cut out the supply of these products, Dr Sany pointed out.
Association Secretary Dr Gitanjali Natarajan said, Youngsters have told us how they sneak in tobacco products to schools without the knowledge of their parents and teachers.