Workshop on Tobacco Control held for Law Enforcers at Rajouri

Rajouri : A one-day training program on the implementation of COTPA-2003 under the National Tobacco Control Programme was held today at the conference hall of PWD Dakbanglow Rajouri under the chairmanship of District Development Commissioner Vikas Kundal,.

The program was organized by the Directorate of Health Services Jammu under the National Tobacco Control Program for the purpose of providing training to the law enforcers/enforcement squad and the district-level Coordination Committee.

The training program started with a PowerPoint presentation by Shweta Raina giving an overview of NTCP and the health hazards of tobacco use. The officer presented a detailed presentation on the COTPA-2003 epidemiology of tobacco burden and the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders.

Explaining the provisions under Sections 4, 5, 6A, 6B, and 7 of the COTPA Act, 2013 for safeguarding public health from the hazards of cigarette smoking, she said that the workshop is being held on the measures to be taken for making schools and colleges, bus stands, public offices, bars and restaurants, pubs, clubs, hotels, and other public places “no smoking zones.”

She highlighted the fact that many people in the country were losing their lives every year due to tobacco consumption. “The Union Government, taking serious note of this, introduced the COTPA Act, 2013, according to which smoking is banned in schools and colleges, bus stations, railway stations, theatres, hotels, bars and restaurants, pubs, clubs, community halls, public offices, and such other public places” she said.

The Act has also made smoking in ‘No Smoking Zones’ a criminal offense, as smoking in public places threatens the health of non-smokers and other people.She further said that the GATS-2 fact sheet has also said that posing a threat to the lives of others by smoking cigarettes in public places is a criminal offense.

She also highlighted the statistics of GATS1 and GATS2.Speaking on the occasion, the District Development Commissioner said the main objective of holding the workshop was to gear up the enforcement officers to strictly implement the provisions of the Tobacco Control Laws (Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003) (COTPA) within the Rajouri district.

“The way forward towards effective implementation of the program is to ensure strict enforcement of Tobacco Control Laws, which is in compliance with Section 4 (Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places), for which he called upon the Police Department to start enforcement drives in the district,” he added.

Further, he said that all tobacco-selling shops must display the signage “No sale of tobacco products to minors” and that no minor should be allowed to buy or sell tobacco products.It was also decided in the program that educational institutions shall display signage (100 yards) and self-declare their institutions as “tobacco-free.”

The DDC called for enhancing coordination with other departments like police, food safety, education, the RDD and the municipality to keep a check on the sale and use of tobacco products.The meeting further decided that special enforcement drives would be conducted to make schools tobacco-free zones in the first instance.

It was also agreed that district administration, in coordination with all the stakeholders, like PRI, should work to make 04 villages tobacco-free villages.The senior superintendent of police assured that the act’s provisions would be followed in letter and spirit.

The meeting was attended by the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mohd Aslam; Medical Superintendent, Dr. Mehmood Hussain Bajar; District Social Welfare Officer, Wakeel Ahmed Bhat, Deputy CMO and District Health Officer.




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