Udayavni Special

Police, health dept aim for Tobacco free M’luru

Team Udayavani, Mar 6, 2019, 11:32 AM IST

3 months 434 violations

Mangaluru: The police and health departs have come forward to strictly implement the Tobacco Control Act in the city. The department has come forward to cancel the permits of the shops selling tobacco products illegally and accordingly has collected a fine of around Rs 70,000 in fines in a span of three months.

The department is maintaining a close watch on petty shops, wine shops and other areas prone to the use of tobacco products and has taken up the challenge to make the a tobacco free city. With this aim, in three months the department has booked 434 cases under Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) and collected fines.

The sale and use of tobacco products within 100 yards of any educational institution is banned and its is compulsory for school-colleges to put up a caution board outside their campus mentioning the warning. Yet, notices have already been sent to several shops and educational institution for violating the rules.

Notice to follow rules

If an educational institution fails to install a caution board outside its campus, the law provides the opportunity to collect a fine of Rs 200 from the principal of the concerned institution. All educational institutions have already been notified to strictly follow the rules in the coming days. Awareness programmes are already being conducted in public areas on behalf of the health and police departments to control the use of tobacco products. The youth in the schools and colleges are being sensitized regarding the adverse effects of using tobacco products and the legal action against its illegal usage.

Punishment Severity

Lack of warning board against the use of tobacco in public areas and provision of lighter, matchsticks in public places will attract a fine of Rs 200.

Advertisement boards with the name of tobacco brand and sale of tobacco products in any form will attract a fine of Rs 1,000 or 2 years of prison time or both for first offence. For repeat offence the fine increases to Rs 5,000 or 5 years of incarceration. For sale of tobacco products to youngsters within the age of 18, failure to put warning sign at petty shops and the display of tobacco products, Rs 200 will be levied as fine. Failure of displaying health hazard picture on the tobacco product, the size of the picture being lesser than 85%, display of old hazard picture will have the producer of the product facing a fine of Rs 5,000 or imprisonment for 2 years for first offence and for second offence, the incarceration period will be for 5 years and a fine of Rs 5,000. For petty shops, first offence will attract 1 year jail time or Rs 1,000 in fines and for the second offence the jail time lasts for 2 years or a fine of Rs 3,000.

22 cancer patients

22 cancer patients are currently admitted and receiving treatment at Wenlock government hospital as a result of tongue, esophagus, lung, larynx cancers caused by the use of tobacco, informed a Wenlock hospital doctor.

Strict action

“Strict action will be taken against those smoking in public places and for the sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of an educational institution. Since there is a higher possibility for such incidents to happen during the night, the beat police will maintain an eye in this regard,” informed Hanumantharaya, DCP Law and order

Permit cancellation

“We will take strict action against shops selling tobacco illegally. Shops violating the rule even after being served notice will lose their permits,” informed Dr Preeta C Shekhar, district coordinator, Tobacco Control Cell

Increase in patient number

“There is a day-to-day increase in the number of cancer affected patients in the district. Currently, there are 22 cancer patients receiving treatment in Wenlock hospital,” said Dr Rajeshwari Devi, Medical Superintendent, Wenlock Hospital

Article by Naveen Bhat Ilanthil translated into English by Aaron Dmello

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