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CEO Baramulla directs edu officials to submit monthly reports on COTPA violators
11/22/2015 12:05:08 AM
S Tahir-ul-Haq

Early Times Report

BARAMULLA, Nov 21: Asking officials of Education Department to ensure 'Tobacco Free' educational institutions, Chief Education Officer (CEO), Baramulla Abdul Ahad Ganie today directed all his subordinate officers to submit monthly reports on action taken against COTPA violators in and around educational institutions in the district.
"All Principals and Headmasters are advised to submit a monthly report to the CEO Baramulla office for follow up so that the sale and use of tobacco is curtailed in and around educational Institutions," the order issued by CEO Baramulla here said.
The Principals, ZEOs and Headmasters shall also ensure that compliances under Section 6 (a), (b) of COTPA 2003 is ensured and all the educational institutions are certified as 'Tobacco Free Institutions, the order said.
It is learnt that, as per Section 6 of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA), there is a ban on the sale of tobacco to and by minors and prohibition on sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions.
However, under Section 6 (b) of COTPA, the sale of tobacco products is prohibited in an area within a radius of 100 yards of any educational institution and mandatory signage in this regard should be displayed prominently near the main gate and on the boundary wall of the school institute.
"In Jammu & Kashmir 26.6 percent adults consume tobacco in one form or the other. More than 66 percent of students have expressed desired to quit and have tried in past year. It is therefore important to target the young population, create awareness and enforce the law at the ground level," said Seema Gupta, Director Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI).
According to the MoHFW, nearly 37 percent of children in India initiate smoking before the age of 10 and each day, 5500 children begin tobacco use.
The findings of these studies highlight the need for targeted interventions among youth in general and students in particular, especially given the marketing overdrive of the tobacco industry to promote the use of tobacco among youth.
Notably the COTPA 2003 is applicable to all products containing tobacco in any form and it extends to whole of India. Not only that but all tobacco product packages need to carry prominent and legible health warnings, while, adding that these warning shall also be pictorial in nature.
Pertinently many sensitization workshops were organized by Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI) in collaboration with J&K Voluntary Health Association in past.
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