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SRINAGAR: A group of students gathered and took a final smoke at Lal Chowk on Wednesday to protest against smoking menace. Students from different schools and colleges participated in a rally to raise awareness about ill effects of drug addiction and promote healthy living through Martial Arts. The rally was organised by Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Unified Martial Arts (JKAUMA) in collaboration with District Administration Srinagar on the occasion of 'No Smoking Day' on Wednesday under its flagship initiative -- 'Drugs out, Sports In'.

Danish One of the student said that “I don’t smoke frequently, but I don’t want someone telling me what is good for me. That does not sit well with me, so I decided to come out and show some support,” he said. Another Student said, “People have come by and taken an interest. A few people have stopped by and smoked with us. A few people who are not smokers have even come by and said ‘yeah this ban is a little bit overreaching’ and signed the petition.”

Another student said, “I support the ban. I think it will make it difficult to smoke,” he said. “If it is harder to smoke, it will probably make you less likely to smoke, which is great. I hope it will make me stop smoking.” “I don’t really understand how they intend to enforce the ban,” he said. “I don’t really know what will happen if I am out here smoking and the police come up. How will they approach me?”.

According to the survey, about 35 percent of school-going teenagers in Srinagar have tried smoking at least once and 23 percent of the adolescents are currently indulging in cigarette smoking.  

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