I am happy to learn that Directorate of Health Services, in association with Voluntary Health Association of India – Aparajita, is celebrating “World No Tobacco Day” on 31st May 2011 along with the rest of the world to focus the adverse effects of tobacco and tobacco products. 
Tobacco is one of the greatest emerging disasters in human history. Currently it is the second major cause of death and single largest manmade preventable cause of disease in the world. The rapid use of tobacco and its spread around the world represents a great concern to public health both globally as well as at national level. India’s tobacco problem is more complex than probably any other nation in the world, because a large number of people consume a variety of smokeless tobacco products (Chewable) along with smoking ones, resulting in a host of diseases. The “World No Tobacco Day” is designed to highlight and draw attention to protect people from hazards that tobacco poses to the health of its users as well as to that of non-users through passive smoking/ second hand smoking. This is one of the reasons that the theme of this year is “The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control”. 
There is a need to create public awareness about the damage due to tobacco use. It is very important for civil society to act and launch a campaign against tobacco use and help people to end their tobacco addiction and to support effective implementation and enforcement of Tobacco Control Act. On this occasion, I appeal to the tobacco users and smokers in particular to quit tobacco and join hands to make Andaman & Nicobar Islands “Tobacco Free Islands”. 
Lt. Gen (Retd) Bhopinder Singh
Lt. Governor, A&N Islands