Udupi: Police will take strict action against those violating COTPA Act: SP K Annamalai

Spread the love

Udupi: Police will take strict action against those violating the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA) said Superintendent of Police K Annamalai.

He was speaking at the awareness programme on Prohibition of Supply and Distribution Act (COTPA) 2003 organised by district police at Jagannatha Auditorium Udupi here on Wednesday March 11.

cotpa_udupi_20150311 cotpa_udupi_20150311-001 cotpa_udupi_20150311-002 cotpa_udupi_20150311-003 cotpa_udupi_20150311-004 cotpa_udupi_20150311-005 cotpa_udupi_20150311-006 cotpa_udupi_20150311-007 cotpa_udupi_20150311-008

Tobacco products will be banned in all public areas. Stringent measures including fine and imprisonment would be introduced on the violators. Udupi should be declared as the COTPA compliance district along with Gadag, Chikkamagaluru and Kolar district in the State. These districts completely adher to the rules put forth under the COTPA Act.

He said measures are taken to save passive smokers who suffer equally as smokers. In fact the affect will be more on the passive smokers. He added that India spends at least Rs one lakh crore for the treatment of the diseases related to tobacco. While Karnataka spends nearly 600 crore on treatment. He added that as many as 820 cases are booked under section 4 of COTPA in the district since March 10. After Gadag, Kolar and Chikkamagaluru districts, it is the turn of Udupi district to rise to the tobacco control challenge, he added.

Home Department Nodal Agency Officer John Kennedy said Section 4.5 6(a). 6(b) and 7 is important in view of implementation. He said there should be 80 per cent awareness. He explained the burden of tobacco and the need for effective implementation of COTPA provisions. He asked all officers to take up this initiative as a social obligation to serve the society.
Explaining the Sections 4.5 6(a). 6(b) and 7, John Kennedy said that Under Section 4 of COTPA Any person found smoking in a public place is liable to pay a fine of up to Rs 200. The authorized officer is considered a public servant while acting in performance of his duty under COTPA. As defined under 3(l) of COTPA ‘public place’ means any place to which the public have access, whether as of right or not, but does not include any open space. In addition, smoking is also prohibited at the open spaces that are visited by the public like open auditoriums, stadiums, railway stations, bus stops and such other places. A physically segregated smoking area may only be allowed in the following places:-
• Airports
• Hotels with 30 or more rooms.
• Restaurants with 30 or more seats.
The rules designated 21 categories of authorized officers (listed in the rules) to ensure enforcement of smoke free rules in public places. As per these rules the owner/in-charge/proprietor/manager of a public place must ensure that:
• No person smokes in the public place under his jurisdiction
• A 60 X 30cm board saying, “No Smoking Area – Smoking Here is an Offence” is prominently displayed at each entrance, floors, staircases, entrance of the lifts and at conspicuous place(s) inside
• Name of the person to whom a complaint may be made is prominently displayed
• No ashtrays, lighters and matchsticks etc. are provided.
• ‘Smoking area or space’ is not provided at the entrance or exit of a restaurant, hotel or airport. Such area is distinctively marked as “Smoking Area” in English and the local language. “Smoking Area” is used only for the purposes of smoking and no service(s) are allowed therein.

If owner, manager, supervisor etc. fails to act upon any complaint he is liable to a fine equivalent to the number of individual offences recorded on his premises. Rules further define that the ‘smoking area or space’ should be a separately ventilated room that is physically separated and surrounded by full height walls on all four sides. It should be fitted with an automatic closing door that is normally kept in a closed position. The air from the smoking area should be exhausted directly to the outside through use of appropriate air ventilation/cleaning system so that the smoke does not mix back in the air supply and the non-smoking areas of the building.

Under Section 5 of COTPA No person is allowed to advertise (directly/indirectly), promote, or sponsor the use or consumption of cigarettes or any other tobacco products. However, there are two exceptions to this rule:- (a) an advertisement of cigarettes or any other tobacco product in or on a package containing cigarettes or any other tobacco product; (b) an advertisement of cigarettes or any other tobacco product which is displayed at the entrance or inside a warehouse or a shop where cigarettes any other tobacco products are offered for distribution or sale There are certain restrictions on this exception and these are as follows:-
• The size of the board at the entrance of warehouse /shop where cigarettes or any other tobacco products is offered for sale shall not exceed sixty centimeters by forty-five centimeters.
• There must be a health warning on the top edge of the point-of-sale boards [20cmsX15cms]. This board shall only list the type of tobacco products and no brand pack shot, brand name of tobacco product or other promotional messages shall be displayed. The tobacco products are not to be sold in a way that they are visible; in order to prevent easy access of tobacco products to minors. In addition there are several restrictions on display of tobacco products in cinema, television and other media as per Cigarettes and Other Tobacco products (Second Amendment) Rules 2005.
• These rules prohibit display of tobacco products or their use in cinema and television programmes except in case of old Indian films and television programmes, Indian films and television where necessary display is required to show historical figure/era, foreign films and television programmes (including dubbed or sub-titled), Indian/foreign films & television programmes in case of documentaries and health spots made to reflect dangers/ dire consequences of tobacco use, live coverage of news where the display is purely incidental. Provided that all these should have appropriate anti tobacco health warnings and there cannot be display of brands of tobacco products or close ups of cigarette products or tobacco products.
• It is mandatory for the media to crop/mask the brand names or logos of tobacco products which form a part of the pictures to be printed in any form of print or outdoor media or footage to be aired through any form of electronic media except in case of live or deferred live telecast of sports, cultural or other events held in other countries being aired on television in India.
• A steering committee has been constituted under the chairmanship of Union Health Secretary with representation from other ministries. The committee will take cognizance suo moto or look into specific violations under Section 5 of the Act including evaluating cases related to indirect advertising and promotion of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products.

As per section 6 of COTPA, no person is allowed to sell tobacco products to a person below the age of 18 years and no person can sell tobacco products within 100 yards of any educational institution. If a person contravenes these provisions he is liable to pay a fine of up to Rs 200. As in section 4, the offence is compoundable and may be tried summarily. For the purposes of COTPA ‘educational institution’ means any place or centre where educational instructions are imparted according to the specific norms and include any school/ college and institution of higher learning established or recognized by an appropriate authority.” The Rules mandate that the owner/in-charge of a place where cigarettes or tobacco products are sold has prominently displayed a board of 60 cm x 30 cm specifying the warning, in the applicable Indian language(s), that “Sale of tobacco products to a person under the age of 18 years is a punishable offence”. The onus of proof that the buyer of the tobacco products is not a minor lies with the seller of the tobacco product. It is also specified that no tobacco product can be sold through a vending machine and no tobacco product can be handled or sold by a person below the age of 18 years. The rules further require that the owner or the person in charge of an educational institution should display, at a prominent place, a board containing the warning “Sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products in an area within a radius of 100 yards from the educational institution is strictly prohibited, and that the offence is punishable with a fine which may extend to Rs 200”. The distance of 100 yards is to be measured radially, starting from the outer limits of the boundary wall, fence or as the case may be, of the educational institution.

Section 7 of COTPA mandates that no person can produce, supply, distribute or import any tobacco product unless every tobacco product package carries a specified health warning including a picture as specified in the rules. The rules give specification of the specified health warnings to be displayed on every tobacco product package. The specified health warnings shall occupy at least forty percent (40%) of the principal display area of the front panel of the pack and shall be positioned parallel to the top edge of the package and in the same direction as the information on the principal display area. However, for conical packs, especially in the case of beedis in India, the widest end of the pack shall be considered as the top edge of the pack. The language used for the specified health warnings should be the language used on the tobacco product pack. However, in case there is more than one language used on the pack, the specified warning shall appear in two languages, one in which the brand name appears and the other in any other language used on the pack. Other important aspects under the rules:-
• No messages that directly or indirectly promote a specific tobacco brand or tobacco usage in general should be inscribed on the tobacco product package;
• No tobacco product package or label shall contain any information that is false, misleading, or deceptive, or that is likely to create an erroneous impression about the characteristics, health effects, or health or other hazards of the tobacco product or its emissions.
• No person shall sell or supply any product that can be used, to cover, obscure, mask, alter, or otherwise detract from the display of specified health warning on the tobacco product package.
• The specified health warning on tobacco packs shall be rotated every twelve months from the date of notification of the rules or earlier as specified by the Central Government.
• The violation of section 7 is punishable under Section 20 of the COTPA. The producer/ manufacturer can be punished with imprisonment up to 2 years or with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees or with both. For second or subsequent offence there is imprisonment for a term which may extend to 5 years and fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees. If the violation is done by the seller or distributor, he can be punished with imprisonment upto of one year or fine upto thousand rupees or both. In this case for the second or subsequent offence there is imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years and with fine which may extend to three thousand rupees.

Additional SP Santhosh Kumar, Udupi CMC President Yuvaraj, DySP Chandrashekar, CPI Shrikant, PSI Town Madhu T S and others were present.

Spread the love