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74 Percent Of Kerala Children Smoke Tobacco: Study
A statement released Thursday said the study found alcohol, tobacco and inhalants or also known as gateway substances were easily available to children, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.
A total of 119 children in Kerala aged between five and 18 were included as part of the study to examine the pattern, profile and correlates of substance use.
In all, the study reached out to 4,024 children across 27 states and two union territories and also covered children living with families and homeless youngsters.
"These (tobacco, inhalants and alcohol) products are not illegal and there is some form of social acceptance for their use, but using these substances increases the subsequent risk of transition to harder and illicit substances," the study said.
State Department of General Education secretary A Shajahan said: "The sample veers towards a severe end of the spectrum; the findings on tobacco use among children is highly disturbing.
"All educational institutions in the state have to take a note of this and strictly enforce laws of the land and spread awareness."
P Vijayan, DIG (Intelligence) and State Nodal Officer of the Student Police Cadets (SPCs), said tobacco use is a precursor to deviant behaviour and crime.
"One of the purposes of the SPCs is to equip and empower students to resist societal malaises such as substance abuse. Student cadets are trained to help identify the sale of tobacco and other harmful substances around schools," he said.
news coverage in our Newswire service.
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