Ensure ‘Smoke Free Schools’ in Baramulla District: CEO Tells Officers

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

no-smoking_sign

Asking officials of the education department to ensure ‘Tobacco Free’ educational Institutions, Chief Education Officer (CEO), Baramulla Saturday directed 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 Baramulla office for follow up so that the sale and use of tobacco is curtailed in and 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 further 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.

“In J&K 26.6 percent adults consume tobacco in some form or the other. More than 66% of students have expressed desired to quit and have tried in past year. It is therefore important to target the young population, create awareness and enforce the law at the ground level,” said Seema Gupta, Director, Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI).

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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