Abiding by the orders of DGP Assam, Nagaon Police launched drive and campaign against the violations of COTPA .
The Nagaon police in Assam district recently launched a drive against those violating COTPA. The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 (COTPA) prohibits smoking in public places, direct/indirect advertising, sale to/by minors, sale within 100 yards of schools and mandates pictorial warnings on all tobacco packs.
Enforcement of COTPA contributes significantly to reduction in tobacco prevalence. Hence the Director General of Police, Assam has ordered the Police force to strictly enforce COTPA. The Police are the main enforcement agency for COTPA.
Abiding by the orders of Director General of Police of Assam, Nagaon district Superintendent of Police (SP) Shankar Brata Raimedhi ordered the drive and campaign was launched on Saturday against the violations of COTPA at Nagaon district.
The objective of this drive is that the tobacco use is the biggest reversible cause of death in Assam. In fact, Assam is in the grip of Tobacco epidemic and it is revealed in Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) 2017. According to the GATS-2017, Assam has 106 lakh adult tobacco users including smoke and smokeless, which is 48.2%; Cigarette users are 13.3 lakh (6.1%); bidi users are 18.8 lakh (8.6%) and smokeless tobacco users are 91 lakh (1.7%). Deaths due to tobacco consumption is 34,000 per annum and the economic burden is Rs 541 crore.
Prior starting the drive, the police officers of different police stations under Nagaon district were imparted training on COPTA. The SP Nagaon informed the participants about the COTPA laws with technical support from Sambandh Health Foundation (SHF) and Tata Trusts, which was followed by imposing fine on the violators.
Tobacco usage in Assam soaring at 48.3% of the adult population has become an epidemic leading to an avalanche of cases of diseases like cancer, cardiovascular problems, respiratory disease, etc.
Shankar Brata Raimedhi, IPS, Superintendent of Police, Nagaon, Assam said, “Tobacco is a curse for the society, so all should join hands in order to control this menace and to improve the quality of life in Assam”.