KL NEWS NETWORK
“Police personnel generated 4016 challans and collected 3, 68,750 Rupees as fine from people for violating COTPA during July to September 2015,” a police spokesman said.
He said that during the month of July the number of persons booked was 1146 and the amount recovered as fine stood at Rs. 1,06,350. In August 1414 persons were booked and an amount of Rs. 1,27,500 was collected as fine while in September, 1456 persons were challaned and fine worth 1,34,900 was collected from these violators.
Pertinently, the state government has directed the police to incorporate Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA) violations in the monthly crime review for strengthening the public health measure at the district and sub-district level.
The state police have been asked to collate the violations for strengthening institutionalization of mechanism and to forward the details on monthly basis to the Superintendents of Police in all the Districts.
Interestingly, COTPA, enacted in 2003 and applicable to the entire country, was aimed to discourage the consumption of cigarettes and other tobacco products by imposing progressive restrictions and public to protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke.
“It is heartening to see that police is coming forward to protect the health of people of the state by strengthening Monthly Crime Review (MCR) challaning. In the next phase, we are expecting all sections of tobacco control act COTPA section 5 & 6 also to be part of MCR,” said Afzal Makhdomi, J&K Consultant, Tobacco Control, Voluntary Health Association of India.
Importantly, the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) India released by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), GoI conveys that 26.6% population of Jammu & Kashmir is using tobacco product in one or the other of its form. Jammu & Kashmir has 12% cigarette smokers, 3.8% bidi smokers and 8.0% smokeless tobacco users. J&K’s cigarette use prevalence (12%) is almost double the nationwide prevalence of 5.7%. It has come to light that the highest proportion of adults (67.9%) exposed to tobacco smoke in offices are in J&K and the lowest (15.4%) are in Chandigarh.