Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said her government would show greater intent in discouraging use of tobacco products in the State and directed police to implement ban on sale of such items near educational institutions.She also gave directions to police for immediate removal of illegal billboards and advertisements from city centres.

“The government will show greater intent in discouraging use of tobacco products, as it exposes people to the grave risk of lung cancer,” she said interacting with a delegation of Voluntary Health Association of India which called on her at her residence here this evening.During the meeting, the Chief Minister discussed with the Director VHAI, Seema Gupta, various measures required to be taken for comprehensive implementation of COPTA (Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act) at the state-level and creating more smoke-free settings. She sought VHAI’s support in generating mass awareness about hazards of tobacco smoking, which has shown an alarming upward trend in the State, an official spokesman said.Ms Gupta requested the Chief Minister for creation of an Anti-Smoking Fund so that targeted interventions are made to protect women and children from falling prey to passive smoking. – PTI.