Students launch innovative campaign on tobacco danger

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Chennai, Sep 29 (UNI) Even as the Tamil Nadu Government and the State Police were gearing up to implement the ban on smoking in public places from October two, about 1,000 school students launched an innovative campaign to spread the message of ill effect of tobacco.

Students of Standards VII to XII of Everwin Matriculation Higher Secondary School brought out a 20-foot high cut out of a human skeleton with a cigarette in the mouth to support the Centre's move to ban smoking.

But the cynosure of all eyes was the 16-feet-long and three-feet high replica of a cigarette and a 15-foot-high cut out of a human head with dozen cigarettes burning over it.

The awareness campaign was to mark the ban on smoking in public places and to protect the school students, School Principal Purushothaman said.

Students, along with their parents, also took out a three-km rally highlighting the evils of smoking. The rally was flagged off by Cancer Institute Principal Investigator Vidhubala.

Attired in a special ''No smoking'' T Shirt, the students were wearing the mask of a skull'' carrying placards and banners supporting the ban and appealing to the smokers to give up the habit.

''Smoking never thrills, it only kills,'' ''If there is tobacco, there is no tomorrow'' were the messages from the students who also organised camps in 15 places in Perambur and Kolathur Areas by holding plays on the evils of smoking.

''Apart from distributing pamphlets, explaining the dangers, of chewing tobacco in any form, to 15,000 people in the age group of 13-35, the students also collected used cigarettes and pan masala sachets scattered on the streets,'' Mr Purushothaman said.

''We received unprecedented response to the campaign from all quarters,'' he said, adding, the campaign and the rally was to create an awareness about the dangers of tobacco and smoking as school students right from the age of 12 were prone to smoking.

The programme culminated with teachers and students taking a pledge to create a tobacco-free society.

The giant cigarette, human skeleton and the cutout of giant human head with cigarettes would be on display at the school and outside till October two, the day the ban comes into force.

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