Dist admn is set to implement COTPA

Smokers for smoking zone on the lines of Western countries

With rampant violation of the Cigarette and  Other Tobacco Products Act - 2013 (COTPA) which prohibits smoking in public places, the district administration has geared up to take stern action against the violators.

As a first step, a district-level committee has been formed comprising officials from police, public administration, civic administration, health and information and publicity departments.

The committee members will go around and spot those smoking at public places and take action against them.

According to the Act, smoking is prohibited in government hospital, bus stand, railway station, canteen, shopping complexes, educational institutions, court premises and other public places.

It also prohibits display of advertisement on cigarette and other tobacco products, sale of tobacco products for children within the age of 18 and sale of tobacco products within 100 metre radius of schools and colleges.

The person who smokes in public places can be penalised up to Rs 200, those who violate the ban on display of advertisement and tobacco products is penalised up to Rs 1,000 and imprisonment for two years, and a penalty of Rs 1,000 and imprisonment up to five year can be imposed on repeated offenders.

However, the smokers have taken exception to this and have demanded for making arrangements like smoking zone on the lines of Western countries. Though the government has banned smoking in public places, it has not made alternative arrangements for smokers.

The Act says that a separate room for smokers has to be made available in hotels, bars and restaurants that have more than 30 seats. But, no steps have been taken to verify if the provision is implemented.

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