KL NEWS NETWORK
Aiming to curtail the increased incidence of tobacco use among the students, the education department in North Kashmir has asked its officials to ensure a complete ban on the sale of tobacco products around school premises.
Chief Education Officer (CEO) Bandipora Friday issued an order asking all the Principals and Headmasters of schools to ensure the ban on sale of tobacco products to minors in all the educational institutions.
“All Principals and Headmasters have been advised to submit a monthly report to the CEO Bandipora office for follow up so that the order which has come into force with immediate effect is implemented strictly,” the order said.
The order also directed the officials to ensure display of ‘No Smoking Sign Boards’ in the school premises, a statement said this afternoon.
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 sale of tobacco to and by minors.
The act also prohibits sale of tobacco products 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 or institution.
Pertinently, the Central Board of School Education (CBSE) has made mandatory for all its affiliated institutes to display warning messages related to consumption or sale of tobacco. All CBSE affiliated schools come under the purview of ‘Say No To Tobacco’ awareness drive.
A penalty of Rs One Lakh or six-month imprisonment will be imposed on failing to follow the order.
“It is good to see that office of the Chief Education Officer Bandipora has come forward to protect the health of children by supporting COTPA enforcement,” said Afzal Makhdoomi, J&K Consultant for Tobacco Control, Voluntary Health Association of India.