ATF joins issue with Eshwarappa

Taking exception to Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) K.S. Eshwarappa’s reported intervention to stall punitive action against shopkeepers selling cigarettes in violation of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) guidelines in Shivamogga, the Anti-Tobacco Forum (ATF) has urged authorities to hold a workshop to create awareness of the tobacco control laws among Ministers, MLAs, MPs and other people’s representatives

“It is unfortunate and conflicting that Mr. Eshwarappa, a senior politician, has interfered with the police officials, who were carrying out lawful enforcement of tobacco control rules and regulations of COTPA in Shivamogga. It is not clear whether the Minister is aware of COTPA and WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) protocol guidelines”, said ATF convenor Vasanthkumar Mysoremath.

Pointing out that COTPA had empowered officers of more than 25 Government departments including Police, Education, Agriculture, and Horticulture, besides officials of the RDPR that he himself heads, to conduct raids on shops selling tobacco products in violation of rules laid down in COTPA, Mr. Mysoremath urged the High Power Committee on State Tobacco Control to conduct an awareness workshop on COTPA and FCTC protocol for the people’s representatives.

The Committee headed by the Chief Minister should invite Ministers, MPs and MLAs to attend the workshop so that they can keep themselves abreast of the legal provisions of COTPA and the health hazards of tobacco consumption so that such embarrassing and conflicting situations do not arise in future, Mr. Mysoremath said.

He was reacting to Mr. Eshwarappa’s reported warning to the police for taking action against the shopkeepers, who were selling cigarettes in violation of COTPA guidelines. Section 6 of COTPA prohibits sale of cigarettes or other tobacco products not only in an area within a radius of 100 yards from any educational institution, but also to any person below the age of 18 years. Section 4 of COTPA also prohibits smoking in public places.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 11:53:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/atf-joins-issue-with-eshwarappa/article37753580.ece

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