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Jharkhand state has made it mandatory for youths to give an undertaking declaring they will not consume tobacco products if they wish to get government jobs. Image Credit: Pixabay

Patna: An eastern Indian state has set a unique condition for job-seekers looking for employment in government sectors — they will have to quit smoking.

Jharkhand state made it mandatory for youths to give an undertaking declaring they would not consume tobacco products in office or outside. The rule will come into force from April next year. The move, officials said, is aimed at containing chewing and smoking habits which are blamed for huge number of tobacco-related deaths every year.

A decision to implement this idea was taken at a meeting of state government headed by chief secretary Sukhdeo Singh held earlier this week. “Anybody getting employment in the Jharkhand government sector will now have to submit an affidavit declaring that they will not consume tobacco in any form whether in office or outside. This will be the basis of their recruitment in the state government,” state’s nodal officer for national tobacco control programme LS Pathak told the media.

The meeting also decided to ensure the tobacco products are not sold within the radius of 100 meters from educational institutions and warned of strict action against the shopkeepers found violating the rule. The state government has already banned sale of tobacco products in the state since April year to prevent spiting in public in the wake of the COVID-19 cases.

Widespread consumption

A report of Ranchi University said tobacco consumption is quite more widespread in Jhakhand, home to large number of tribal population. While one in five men smoke tobacco, one in six women consume tobacco in Jharkhand. The report added that some 35,000 deaths have been taking place due to tobacco consumption every year while more than 38.9 per cent adults consume tobacco in Jharkhand and 147 children initiate tobacco everyday.

According to Global Adult Tobacco Survey, India has the second largest tobacco users in the world with 268 million or 28.6 percent of all adults in India, and 1.2 million succumbing to tobacco-related diseases every year.

Tobacco has been one of the major factors behind the cancer-related deaths as well. According to the National Cancer Registry Programme of the India Council of Medical Research (ICMR), more than 1300 Indians die every day due to cancer. Between 2012 and 2014, the mortality rate due to cancer increased by approximately 6%. In 2012, there were 478,180 deaths out of 2,934,314 cases reported.

In 2013 there were 465,169 deaths out of 3,016,628 cases. In 2014, 491,598 people died in out of 2,820,179 cases.