Van to travel state, boost de-addiction campaign

Minister of State for Social Justice and de-addiction activities Sachin Ahir on Tuesday inaugurated Maharashtra's first mobile tobacco cessation van. An initiative of Salaam Bombay Foundation, the van will travel across the state and aim at helping those who need to be weaned off tobacco and require medical help and psychological counselling. A helpline, 9820066665, has also been started for addicts and their families.

"This initiative is commendable. Now, people will not have to go to cessation centres, but the centre itself will be coming to them," Ahir said. Doctors from Prince Aly Khan Hospital will be in the van as it travels across the city and rural areas. The doctors will also counsel people to quit nicotine. Follow-up screening sessions will be held twice a week for three months.

Devika Chadha, programme director, Salaam Bombay Foundation, said, "The cessation van will help those who want to choose life over tobacco," Chadha said.

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