Soon, a mobile app to check COTPA violations

Even though the use of tobacco, such as smoking, is prohibited in public places, violations are rampant. (DH File Photo.For representation purpose)

The people of the district can soon report violations of Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) with just a click of a button. The Health department is all set to launch ‘No Tobacco’, a mobile application, to report complaints and Mysuru is among the 10 districts in the state, selected for the pilot project.

People can report any kind of COTPA violation by uploading photographs of the violators through the application. Citizens can download ‘No Tobacco’ application free of cost from Google Play store. People just need to click the photograph of the violator of COTPA and upload the image. The team comprising officials of local bodies, Health department, Education department, Excise, Labour and others, will visit the spot and take necessary action.

The new initiative has been launched to ensure smoke-free public places and to protect the health of non-tobacco users. National Tobacco Control Programme District Surveillance Officer Dr Kusuma told DH, the state Health department has taken up the initiative to launch mobile application and the department has selected 10 districts, including Mysuru, as a pilot project.

Even though the use of tobacco, such as smoking, is prohibited in public places, violations are rampant. The enforcement officials have raided four shops and registered 13 cases, near St Joseph’s College and the Government Higher Primary School in Jayalakshmipuram. The officials have collected a fine of Rs 2,030 from the shopkeepers.

Dr Kusuma said, this year, as many as 2,750 COTPA violation cases have been registered and the department has collected a total fine of Rs 4.15 lakh. She said, the officials have been acting tough against violation of COTPA. “The sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products, within 100 yards of educational institutions is illegal, still many petty shopkeepers violate the norms by selling tobacco products. “Initially, we serve notices to such shops. If they continue to violate the norms, the shop will be closed,” Dr Kusuma added.

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Soon, a mobile app to check COTPA violations

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