District Magistrate Srinagar, Farooq Ahmed Shah imposed a complete ban on sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products within 100 yards of all hospitals in the Srinagar district, in the interest of patient care.
Sources said that Medial Superintendents of all hospitals have been directed to ensure implementation of the ban.
In another significant order DC Srinagar has ordered cancellation of registration of such shops that sell tobacco products to children below 18 years or if any shopkeeper is caught selling banned Gutka, Khani or Pan Masala containing tobacco.
They added that in case of violation by any shopkeeper, the Heads of the educational institutions have been asked to furnish details of such shopkeepers to Chief Education Officer, Tehsildar and concerned SHO for immediate action.
Srinagar has thus become the first district in to ban sale of tobacco products near hospitals and is also the first district to issue orders for cancellation of registration of shops if caught violating section 6 of COTPA.
These orders were issued by DC Srinagar on the representation made by AM Mir (IAS Retd) Executive Director J&K Voluntary Health Association (JKVHA), VHAI New Delhi and members of civil society. JKVHA pleaded before District Magistrate Srinagar that Associated Hospitals, including GB Panth, SMHS, Chest Diseases, Bone & Joints and LD Hospital are all an extension of government Medical College and similarly SKIMS Hospital Soura and JVC Hospital Bemina are also teaching institutions, as such Hospitals are places of learning and Educational Institutions. Under section 6 of Anti Tobacco Act (COTPA) the sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of all educational institutions, is banned. The organizations had also pleaded before DC to cancel the registration of any shop violating Section 6(a) of COTPA which prohibits sale of tobacco products to children below 18 years.