Ministry of Education rolls out a nationwide campaign on Tobacco Free Educational Institutions (ToFEI)

OV Desk

Tobacco use is one of the major causes of preventable deaths and diseases in India and accounts for nearly 1.35 million deaths every year in the country. India is also the second largest consumer and producer of tobacco. According to Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) 2019, 8.5 percent of school students in the age group of 13 to 15 consume tobacco in different forms across the country.

Easy access to tobacco products in its different forms around our school buildings and campuses believed to be one of the major contributing factors causing the above situation.

As part of the National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP), the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, has issued the Tobacco Free Educational Institution (ToFEI) Guidelines for safeguarding minors and youth from tobacco use.

Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Education has developed a “ToFEI Implementation Manual” for schools and launched it on World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) which was observed on 31st May, 2024. The objective is to make educational institutions across the nation comply with the ToFEI guidelines and become #Tobacco Free Area.

Augmenting the mission for tobacco free educational institutions, Secretary, Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Education, Government of India has issued a detailed advisory to all States/UTs for complying with Guidelines of Tobacco Free Educational Institutions (ToFEI) as per the ToFEI Implementation Manual in a befitting manner by undertaking the following suggestive activities in schools and nearby area;

  • Display ‘Tobacco Free Area’ Signage inside the premise of Educational Institution with the information of designated person.
  • Display “Tobacco Free Education Institution” signage at entrance/boundary wall of Educational Institution with the information of designated person.
  • There should not be any evidence of tobacco use inside the premise like cigarette/beedi butts or discarded gutka/tobacco pouches, spitting spots.
  • Display of poster & other awareness materials on harms of tobacco within the premise of educational institutions.
  • Organizing at least one tobacco control activity every 6 months in educational institutions.
  • Nomination of ‘Tobacco Monitors’ and their names, designation, and contact number are to be mentioned on the signage.
  • Inclusion of “No Tobacco Use” Guidelines in the Educational Institutions code of conduct.
  • Marking of 100 yards area from the outer limit of boundary wall/fence of the educational institute.
  • Shops within 100 yards of the Educational Institute shall not sell any kind of tobacco products.
  • Take pledge against Tobacco use as per Annexure-III of Implementation Manual of ToFEI.

Further, he also emphasized upon the role of Civil Society in spreading awareness messages on de-addiction through street plays, video films, talks by NGOs, resource persons etc. Accordingly, States/UTs were advised to use the avenues of School Management Committee meetings, National Social Service and Vidyanjali-School Volunteer Initiative to rope in resource persons, NGOs working in this area to spread awareness on tobacco prevention and consumption covering all stakeholders including students, teachers, parents and staff working in the educational institutions.

Link to the ToFEI Manual:

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