'Officers don't join hands with tobacco companies'

Udupi Deputy Commissioner Hepshiba Rani Korlapati has barred government officials from joining hands with companies manufacturing tobacco products or participating in the programmes organised by the tobacco companies.

She was speaking at the quarterly meeting of Tobacco Control Unit held at DC Office on Tuesday. The DC said that such acts are in violation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). She said the plaques carrying the motto of FCTC should be displayed across all the departments.

District Tobacco Control Officer Dr Vasudev Upadhyaya said that awareness should be created among school and college students.

He said committees were formed in schools and colleges. The Malpe and Kaup  beaches are publicised as no smoking zones. Under COPTA, from April to June, 426 cases were registered and an amount of Rs 45,550 fine was collected.

Nearly 1.20 lakh were engaged in tobacco-related employments in the district. If alternative jobs are created, 25% people are ready to come out of the trade related to tobacco, Upadhyaya said.

Dr Muralidhar Kulkarni from Kasturba Medical College said e-cigarettes despite being banned were sold online. There is no proper awareness among college students about the ill-effects of smoking, he added. Korlapati instructed officials to take action against those selling e-cigarettes online.

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