Anti-Tobacco Campaign Catches Pace in Srinagar

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

Chief Education Officer (CEO), Srinagar has asked all his subordinate officers to submit monthly reports on action taken against COTPA violators in and around educational Institutions in the district.

“All Principals and Headmasters are advised to submit a monthly report to the CEO Srinagar office for follow up so that the sale and use of tobacco is curtailed around educational Institutions,” the order issued here said.

The Principals, ZEO’s and Headmasters shall also ensure that compliances under Section 6 (a), (b) of COTPA Act 2003 is ensured and all the educational Institutions are certified as ‘tobacco free institutions’, the order said.

Pertinently, as per Section 6 of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA), there is a ban on the sale of tobacco to and by minors and prohibition on sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions.

Under Section 6 (b) of COTPA, the sale of tobacco products is prohibited in an area within a radius of 100 yards of any educational institutions and mandatory signage in this regard should be displayed prominently near the main gate and on the boundary wall of the school institute.

“It is heartening to see that office of the Chief Education Officer Srinagar has come forward to protect the health of children by supporting COTPA enforcement at the ground level,” said Afzal Makhdomi, J&K Consultant for Tobacco Control, Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI).

According to Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) carried out by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India conducted amongst the students in India, reveals that 14.6% of 13 –15 year old students are using tobacco in India. Of those, 8.1% of students smoked tobacco. As many as 11% of all male students surveyed were found to be users of smoking or smokeless tobacco, while 6% of female students used smokeless tobacco and 3.7% smoked tobacco.

According to the MoHFW, nearly 37% children in India initiate smoking before the age of 10 and each day, 5500 children begin tobacco use. The findings of these studies highlight the need for targeted interventions among youth in general and students in particular, especially given the marketing overdrive of the tobacco industry to promote the use of tobacco among youth.

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