Participants in an awareness programme on the hazards of tobacco consumption held here in connection with the World No Tobacco Day on Friday called for a concerted effort to curb the menace. The smokers were asked to understand the fact that their habit not only kills them in the medium to long term but also affects passive smokers. Taking part as the chief guest, Agriculture Minister Kanna Lakshminarayana said smoking was a nasty habit which has serious health and financial implications. He observed that people were virtually inviting death by smoking as tobacco causes different types of cancer and other lethal diseases.
He said the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA) was enacted in 2003 and the situation has since improved .
District Collector S. Suresh Kumar said the COTPA has to be strictly implemented if the desired results were to be achieved, he asserted.
Additional Director of Medical & Health Department Tarachand Naidu, Joint Collector D. Muralidhar Reddy, DMHO M. Gopi Naik, Superintendents of Police A. Ravi Krishna (urban) and J. Satyanarayana (rural), Government General Hospital Superintendent Ch. Mohan Rao and Guntur Medical College (GMC) Principal K.S. Vara Prasad and others took part. Earlier, Mr. Suresh Kumar flagged off a rally taken out from the DMHO office to the GMC to spread awareness about the dangers of tobacco consumption.
Lakshminarayana says Rs. 40 lakh was collected as fine those who violated ban on public smoking in Guntur district