Udupi, Feb 12, 2015 : Superintendent of Police Annamalai told the media that as a first step to achieving the objectives, Police have taken a novel and crucial role as protectors of health in reducing tobacco consumption.
Orientation programmes will be held for police personnel including sub-inspectors. The personnel would be exposed to the means involved in the Act. The police have already incorporated COTPA - Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA-2003) violations in the monthly crime review following the instructions from the Union government.
Police personnel belonging to about 20 stations in the district underwent orientation for the implementation of smoking ban in public places and other guidelines regarding tobacco control at an orientation workshop organised in the Conference Hall at SP office.
Dr John Kennedy from Institute Public Health was present at the workshop to orient the police personnel and addressed the police personnel over the COTPA. The workshop was organised in association with Institute of Public Health, Bangalore. Dr. Kennedy said tobacco was one of the world’s leading causes of death and disability, killing more than 1 million people in India annually.
As per the report released, one tobacco related death is recorded every eight seconds in the country! Karnataka presently has around two crore consumers, one third of who may die a premature death. Taking cognizance of this matter and in order to reduce consumption across the country, the State government has taken serious steps to implement the COTPA, he added.
Additional SP and Nodal officer for Tobacco control at the district-level, Santhosh Kumar, said that the workshop was conducted to highlight the key sections under the COTPA. "Cops at police station level have been strictly informed to ensure implementation of the smoking ban in public places and to prevent sales of tobacco around schools and to children under the COTPA," he added.
An audio visual presentation on the training module used during the programme included directions to the participants to protect the society from the ill effects of tobacco. Police officials also took a pledge to carry out the tobacco control measures effectively.
Some of the main guidelines for the police from the programme as seen are : Protect non-smokers by ensuring no smoking in public places; protect innocent non-users from being influenced by illegal advertising and promotions; protect minors from selling or buying tobacco; prevent tobacco products from being sold near schools and prevent people from selling tobacco without statutory warnings.