Need to spread awareness on COTPA, fine violators, says ADC

Need to spread awareness on COTPA, fine violators, says ADC

The Additional Deputy Commissioner has stressed on the need to create awareness on the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Comme- rce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act 2003 (COTPA) along with slapping fine on the violators of the Act.

ADC Kumar, who addressed a workshop on the effective implementation of tobacco laws in Karnataka by capacity building and monitoring in the City on Wednesday, said that the citizens should all take a pledge to make the society smoking-free.

“India is the second largest producer and consumer of tobacco products in the world. About 3.5 million people die of various health ailments due to consumption of tobacco-related products across the world every year. Officials have responsibility regarding the effective implementation of COTPA. There is also a need to create awareness on the ill-effects of tobacco consumption,” he said.

The official added that there is a need to counsel the youth and bring them back to the mainstream.

Bantwal Assistant Superintendent of Police Rahul said that a total of 1,729 cases had been booked and a fine of Rs 3,01,470 collected from offenders of the COTPA in the last one month in the Puttur and Bantwal sub-divisions.

“Under Section 4 of the COTPA – related to smoking in public places – 1,657 cases have been registered and a fine of Rs 2.92 lakh has been collected. Under Section 6 (restricts the access of a minor to the tobacco products), the Police Department has created awareness by conducting a workshop for stakeholders including hotel and restaurant owners, tobacco vendors and manufacturers,” said the official, adding, “Even at the police station level, awareness was created before conducting raids. Under Section 6 (B) – which restricts the sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of schools and colleges – 51 cases have been booked and a fine of Rs 5,100 was collected in a period of the last one month.”

He also mentioned that in the last year, 245 cases have been booked and fine of Rs 36,300 was collected in tobacco-related violations.

Dr Chandrakiran, divisional coordinator of the Anti-tobacco Control Cell, said that the law mandates that signage carrying the message ‘No smoking area-smoking here is an offence’ should be put up at the entrances and other prominent places inside hotels and restaurants.

“The hotels and restaurants, however, have failed to exhibit such signage in Mangaluru. Those who enforce the law should issue a set of guidelines in the Mangaluru. The size of the warning signage should be 60cmx30cm and should have a white background. All the gazetted officials and senior health supervisors and eligible to fine the offenders under COTPA,” he explained.

“Violations of COTPA are mainly pertaining to the sections that relate to smoking in public places, advertisements at points of sale, prohibition of sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions and pictorial warnings on tobacco products,” he added.

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