Udupi, Feb 27, 2015: Addressing district officers at the awareness meet held in SP office on Feb 26, Superintendent of Police Annamalai said provisions of Cigarettes & other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Supply & Distribution) Acts (COTPA) 2003 would be strictly implemented across the district in early April 2015.
The SP expalined, tobacco products will be banned in public areas of all kninds. Stringent measures including fine and imprisonment would me meted out to culprits. He added Udupi whould be declared as the COTPA compliance district in the State.
At least 80 per cent compliance will be the target. The steps are taken to save passive smokers who suffer more than smokers.
He added that India spends at least Rs one lakh crore for the treatment of the diseases incurred owing to the tobacco related disease. While Karnataka spends nearly 600 crore on treatments. The government bodies should take stern measures for implementation of the provisions of the programme.
He added that as many as 367 cases are booked under section 4 of COTPA in the district since February 2015, fine is collected. Tobacco kills six million people each year it was stated..
He unfolded plans to effectively implement provisions under the COTPA, 2003. With the active participation from the district administration, Annamalai set a deadline of 30 days by which they wish to attain the tobacco compliance status. The SP poited out that Police department initiate strong steps tp implement tobacco control measures in association with other departments.
Department heads were briefed on their role to implement and the reporting system on daily basis to district police headquarters. After Gadag, Kolar and Chikkamagaluru districts, it’s the turn of Udupi district to rise to the tobacco control challenge, he added.
Official support : Home Department Nodal Agency Officer, John Kennedy said that Section 4.5 6(a). 6(b) and 7 is important in view of implementation. He expected at least 80 per cent awareness. He explained the burden of tobacco and the need for effective implementation of COTPA provisions. He asked all officers to take up this initiative as a social obligation to serve the society, he added.
SP instructed officials with guidelines like ensuring display of boards stating ban of tobacco products sale in the 100 yards jurisdiction of education institutions and related display of boards explaining the same. One week time has been given to all the institutions through education officers who were present.
He directed the officials to ensure ban on smoking in public places including bus stand, parks, hotel and restaurants, bakery, shops, pan shops, cinema theatres, private and government office premises. Insure that related warning boards are installed in these places within 7 days. Ensuring action if concerned individual or authorities fail to display warning boards pertaining to tobacco control.
The officials should ensure clearing tobacco products advertisements in public places and at the point of sales. A 30 days special drive starting from early March 2015. To ensure proper implementation of COTPA provisions in every police station limits headed by CPI, PI or Sub Inspectors was initiated on the occasion.
All department authorities have also given instructions to hold awareness programmes at all panchayat and village level to speed up the tobacco control measures. All police officials have been instructed not to tone down the above directions but work hard to ensure the district to attain the tobacco compliance status with the set deadline.
A directive has also been given to all police stations to send daily reports on the COTPA implementation and related cases registered to the office of district SP. Officers from Health, Education, Municipality, Fisheries, Transport, Information, representatives from ZP, private hospitals representatives, food and civil supply department officers have participated and assured for the related support and display of boards within the deadline.