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Assam police steps up drive to enforce COPTA

Press Trust of India  |  Guwahati 

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

As part of the drive which was taken up by the police stations since yesterday, shop owners were also fined for selling cigarettes within 100 yards of schools and inadequate display of warnings on packets.

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

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

The police action was taken under the direction of the of Chandra Nath, Kaur said.

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, Kaur said.

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

has more than one crore tobacco users of whom 13.3 lakh are users, 18.8 lakh bidi users and 91 lakh smokeless tobacco users, SHF sources said.

Pointing out that over Rs 540 crore is spent annually for in for persons aged between 35 years and 69 years, the SHF sources said the prevalence of tobacco has gone up from 39.3 per cent in 2010 to 48.2 per cent in 2017.

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

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

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, July 11 2018. 12:35 IST