The Guwahati Police has started fining violators under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 (COTPA).
The violations include various sections including smoking in public places, direct or indirect advertising, sale to minors or by minors, sale within 100 yards of schools and pictorial warnings on all tobacco products packaging (currently 85% of pack area).
Police started action under COTPA with the objective of keeping youth away from tobacco addiction and also preventing non-smokers from bad effects of inhaling passive smoke.
The police force in Guwahati was given refresher training on COTPA by Sambandh Health Foundation. Under the direction of the Commissioner of Police Hiren Chandra Nath.
Assam has more than 1 crore tobacco users of which 13.3 lakh are cigarette users, 18.8 lakh are bidi users and 91 lakh are smokeless tobacco users. More than 540 crores are spent on treatment of tobacco-related diseases in Assam in annually for persons aged 35-69. In the last 7 years, the prevalence of tobacco has gone up from 39.3% in 2010 to 48.2% in 2017.
As per the Global Adult Tobacco Survey, 2017, Assam, 8.2% of men, 62.9% of women and 32.9% of all adults (15+ age) currently either smoke and or use smokeless tobacco.
As per data, 25.3% of men, 0.8% of women and 13.3% of all adult currently smoke tobacco, while 50.5% of men, 32.5% of women and 41.7% of all adults currently use smokeless tobacco.