Dakshina Kannada police have taken measures for the effective enforcement of the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA), Superintendent of Police S D Sharanappa has said.
“If anyone is seen selling cigarettes or other tobacco products within 100 yards of the campuses of educational institutions in Puttur and Bantwal sub-divisions, complaints can be filed against the person at the nearest police station and the police will act against such violators,” he assured.
Speaking to mediapersons on the COTPA on Friday, the SP said that the Act aims at regulating the use of cigarettes and other tobacco products. “I have written to all the 96 government departments functioning in the district regarding the enforcement of the Act. The departments have also been asked to put up ‘No Smoking’ boards on office premise,” he added.
The SP said that from 2013 till August 27, 2015, a total of 2,896 cases have been booked under the COTPA, and a fine of Rs 4,52,220 has been collected. In the last two months, 1,837 cases have been booked with a fine of Rs 3,28,870. A total of 84 cases have been booked in government offices as well, he added.
“In 2015, under Section 4 (ban on related to smoking in public places) of the COTPA, 1,849 cases have been booked, under Section 5 (bans all form of direct and indirect advertisements) four cases, Section 6 (sale of tobacco products to minors) 83 cases and Section 6b (prohibits sale of tobacco products within 100 yards from schools and colleges) 55 cases been booked in Dakshina Kannada district,” said Sharanappa.
“A drive was organised in association with the Institute of Public Health, which has been coordinating with the Police Dept and other agencies for the effective enforcement of the Act. Apart from imposing fines on those smoking in public, the police have also inspected places selling cigarettes and other tobacco products within 100 yards of the campuses of educational institutions,” explained the official.
John Kennedy, from the Institute of Public Health, said that Gadag, Kolar and Chikkamagaluru districts have already been declared as COTPA-compliant districts. “In DK, work on enforcement and awareness has been completed up to 80 per cent,” he informed.