Udupi: After Gadag, Kolar and Chikkamagaluru districts, it is now the turn of Udupi district to rise to the tobacco control challenge. Taking cue from the other three districts attaining the tobacco compliance status, Udupi on Thursday, February 26, set stage for itself to surge ahead in this regard. In a crucial meeting held today, concerned departments undertook a decision to strictly implement the tobacco control regulations under COTPA (Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003).
Addressing the meeting of stakeholders at the SP office in the district, SP K Annamalai IPS charted out the blueprint to effectively implement provisions under COTPA. With active participation from the district administration, the senior cop set a deadline of 30 days by which they wish to attain the tobacco compliance status. “The Police Department will put its strong foot forward in implementing tobacco control measures in association with other departments,” he added.
Related discussions with the concerned department heads were also held on the occasion and the responsibilities of each stakeholder were explained. Department heads were briefed about their role in the implementation and system of reporting on daily basis to the district police headquarters.
Dr John Kennedy of the Tobacco Control Project at the Institute of Public Health, which is coordinating with the state government in implementing COTPA, addressed the gathering. He explained the burden of tobacco and the need for effective implementation of the COTPA provisions. He asked all officers to take up this initiative as a social obligation to serve the society.|
Addressing the meeting SP K Annamalai, gave the following instructions to the participants:
- Ensuring display of boards stating ban of tobacco products sale in the 100 yards jurisdiction of education institutions and related display of boards explaining the same.
- One week time has been given to all the institutions through education officers who were present at the meet. If anyone fails to comply, strict action will be taken against them by the Police Department.
- Assuring ban of smoking in public places including bus stand, parks, hotels and restaurants, bakery, shops, pan shops, cinema theaters, private and government office premises. Also, to see to it that related warning boards are installed in these places within 7 days.
- Ensuring action if concerned individual or authorities fail to display warning boards pertaining to tobacco control.
- Ensuring clearing of tobacco product advertisements in public places and at the point of sales.
- Kick starting of a 30 day special drive starting from the first week of March to ensure proper implementation of COTPA provisions in every police station limits headed by CPI, PI or Sub Inspectors.
All the department authorities have also been given instructions to hold awareness programmes at Panchayat and Village levels to speed up the tobacco control measures. All police officials have been instructed not to tone down the above directions but work hard to ensure the district attaining the tobacco compliance status within the set deadline.
A directive has also been given to all police stations to send daily reports on COTPA implementation and related cases registered to the office of the district SP.
Officers from health, education, municipality, fisheries, transport, information, representatives from ZP, private hospitals representatives, food and civil supply department officers participated in the meeting and assured support and display of boards in their office premises within the fixed deadline.