Bengaluru

Anti-tobacco enforcement goes up in a puff of smoke

Lack of funds and infrastructure, and absence of clarity in the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition, Supply and Distribution) Act 2003, have been cited as reasons for the ineffective implementation of the anti-tobacco laws.

The Anti-Tobacco Cell has been working for the multi-departmental action against smoking in public places. The cell is for a coordinated action by 32 departments which will help in the effective enforcement of Tobacco Control laws, said S. Prakash, Member-Secretary of the State Anti-Tobacco Cell.

Taking to presspersons here on Monday, Dr. Prakash said the cell, the first to be set up by the State Government in 2004, lacked funds and resources. Another hindrance was the lack of clarity in the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition, Supply and Distribution) Act 2003. “Though enacted in 2003, many of the provisions are yet to be notified by the Union Government. Therefore, the enforcement has not been effective,” he said. The Union Government has notified Section 4 (prohibition of smoking in public places), Section 5 (prohibition of advertisement of cigarette and other tobacco products) and Section 6 (prohibition of sale of cigarette or other tobacco products to persons aged less than 18 and in a particular area), he said.

Coordination

The cell is working for coordination between 32 departments, including education, postal, medical, railways and transport, that have to enforce these three provisions. It is also creating awareness about the ill-effects of smoking, passive smoking and tobacco consumption. “We are making use of the grants and resources available under the National Rural Health Mission for this purpose,” Dr. Prakash said.

District cells

The cell is trying to streamline the Rs. 200-fine, now collected by the police. Till December 2009, Rs. 2.78 lakh had been collected and 4,808 cases registered. The District Anti-Tobacco Cells have come up in 28 districts, while two districts will have them shortly.

Pratima Murthy, Professor of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, which is the Coordination Centre for Tobacco Cessation, said doctors were being trained to counsel against tobacco use.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 4:05:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/Anti-tobacco-enforcement-goes-up-in-a-puff-of-smoke/article16240027.ece

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