Squad set up to implement action plan in district

The district administration has drawn up a six-point action plan that proposes to involve public in its effort to intensify the fight against tobacco and tobacco-related products in the district.

A squad has been pressed into action in the district since Monday to implement the action plan to further the tobacco-control programme. The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by District Collector P.I. Sheikh Pareed.

Mr. Pareed sought the cooperation of traders, public, and the managers of public places in the authorities' efforts to completely eradicate smoking in public places.

The action plan strictly prohibits tobacco and related products within the 100-m radius of educational institutions. Heads of educational institutions or the Parent Teacher Association concerned should lodge complaints against shops violating the ban at the nearest police station.

‘No-smoking' boards have been made mandatory at hotels, restaurants, theatres, trade establishments, offices, bus stands, taxi and autorickshaw stands, parking grounds, beaches, parks, markets and other public places. Fines will be slapped on those failing to comply with these provisions. Demands for such display boards should be placed either with the district administration or the Tobacco Free Ernakulam project.

Advertisements promoting tobacco products will be strictly controlled. The district administration or the police should be informed about those violating this provision.

Besides, fine will be imposed on operators of hotels, shops, bars, or theatres who provide match boxes to light cigarettes or facilitate smoking within their premises. Smoking in public transport facilities stand strictly prohibited. Operators of vehicles should put up boards or stickers prohibiting smoking.