Assam Police launches drive against violators of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act

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The Assam Police have started fining people for smoking in public places, selling tobacco products to minors and advertising nicotine-based items as a measure against violation of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003.

Police stations have taken up a drive from Tuesday under which shop owners have also been fined for selling cigarette packets with inadequate display of warnings and setting up stalls for selling tobacco products within 100 yards of schools.

DCP East Guwahati Ramandeep Kaur said that enforcing the Act would go a long way in reducing prevalence of tobacco use among people.

Ramandeep Kaur, DCP East Guwahati, said that enforcing the Act would go a long way in reducing prevalence of tobacco use among people.

“We hope this campaign will increase public awareness and help in making our public places and educational institutes tobacco-free,” the DCP said.

Further, Kaur informed that the initiative had been taken under the direction of the Guwahati Commissioner of Police Hiren Chandra Nath.

It was being done with the objective of keeping the youth away from tobacco addiction and preventing non-smokers from the bad effects of inhaling passive smoke, stated Kaur.

The police officials who are involved in the enforcement of COTPA had participated in a training conducted by Sambandh Health Foundation (SHF) during which they had taken a pledge to support the cause of tobacco control in the state.

Dr Ashok Das, a cancer surgeon at B Barooah Cancer Institute (BBCI) and patron of Voice of Tobacco Victims (VoTV) said, “The enforcement of COPTA by the police in Guwahati is commendable.”

According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2017 in Assam, 32.9 per cent of people above 15 years, currently smoke or use smokeless tobacco.

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