'COTPA 2003: Smokers in public places will be fined Rs 200'

As per the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) 2003, smoking in public places is banned and those who violate the law will be slapped a fine of Rs 200, said additional deputy commissioner Sathish Kumar.

Speaking at a workshop on COTPA, organised by the State Tobacco Control Cell and the Health Department on Monday, the additional deputy commissioner said that if any violations were found in the advertisements of cigarettes and other tobacco products, then they would be imprisoned for two years along with a fine of Rs 1,000. The sale of tobacco and cigarettes to children is an offence and should not be sold within 100 metres’ radius of schools and colleges.

Official work
District Health Officer Dr O R Srirangappa said that the district-level committee had been constituted for the effective implementation of the COTPA 2003. “Accordingly, the officials – from the Departments of Police, Tourism, Information, Health and Family Welfare, and Public Instruction as well as the municipal administration – will work in coordination for the purpose,” the official added.

Rules for hotels
Tobacco Control Cell district coordinator Prabhakar said that the law mandates that signage, carrying the message, ‘No smoking area – smoking here is an offence’, should be placed at the entrance to and in other prominent places inside hotels and restaurants.
A smoking zone should be created in hotels, bars and restaurants, having more than 30 seats, he added.

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