SRINAGAR: Massive raids in and around Lal Chowk Srinagar particularly in Koker Bazar area on the trade and sale of illicit cigarettes, pertinent to mention that J&K is implementing the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA) even though Kashmir is on the top of the Smoking consumption list and also for the sale of illicit smoking. Srinagar District stands at number one on the sale and consumption of cigarettes as per the survey 2019.
The Civil Society Members in coordination with Food Safety Department government of J&K has raided today in the city centre in which areas like Kukar Bazar, Lal Chowk, and areas close to schools and colleges where also targeted during this campaign. One shop was seized and a penalty of thousands imposed.
Mir Hilal Assistant Commissioner Food Safety Department government of J&K was heading this campaign while talking to media said that illicit smoking which include the brands like WIN, ESS and others are mostly sold without rules & regulation and specified warnings and today we have been able to seize licences of vendors and recovered illicit cigarettes worth thousands. He added that the campaign will continue to end this menace in Srinagar city.
It has been found that these cigarettes are cheaper and without regulation attract the young and adolescent which has created menace in our society, food safety department, Police station Maisuma (J&K Police ) and allied departments participated in this campaign and has been widely appreciated by the traders in the areas.