New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) In a step to increase the reach of the National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP), the central government has instructed the states to use the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) workforce for anti-tobacco programmes.
Operational guidelines for NTCP released Thursday emphasise on "synergising" NTCP with the NRHM at state and district levels.
"For capacity building of state/district, awareness generation through mass media, and monitoring/enforcement of anti-tobacco law, states must explore the possibilities of integrating it as a part of the NRHM activities and through the existing state health care delivery mechanism," the guidelines said.
It has also advocated involving workforce under other non-communicable disease programmes for prevention of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and strokes, in the tobacco control programme.
The guidelines say it is being done as tobacco has been identified as the reason behind several communicable and non-communicable diseases.
The guidelines were released on World No-Tobacco Day.
World Health Organisation India representative Nata Menabde stressed that tobacco lobbies needed to be fought to control tobacco.
"The economic returns from tobacco industry has been overrated while the loss of productivity, and social cost of tobacco is ignored... the struggle against tobacco lobbies will be tougher," she said on the sidelines of a function to release the guidelines.