A meeting of District Level Coordination Committee (DLCC) on National Tobacco Control Programme was held today under the Chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner, Rakesh Minhas here in the DC Office complex.
The meeting held detailed deliberations to get a better understanding regarding the enforcement of the provisions of The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 or COTPA, 2003 and to implement National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP).
At the outset, Chief Medical Officer Dr Rakesh Magotra informed the meeting about the agenda, roles and responsibilities of the members of DLCC under NTCP.The Divisional Coordinator NTCP, Shiveta Raina threw light on the prevailing tobacco usage scenario of the Jammu and Kashmir UT besides gave details of the penal and enforcement provisions of COTPA-2003.
She also gave an overview of WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and strategies on effective implementation of COTPA-2003.During the meeting, Key provisions of COTPA-2003 were discussed, including the prohibition of smoking in public places, advertisement restrictions, sale restrictions to minors, and regulation of trade and commerce related to tobacco products.
The Deputy Commissioner emphasized on the active participation of all stakeholders in enforcing COTPA-2003 and raising awareness among the general public, particularly the youth, about the hazardous effects of tobacco use.To curtail tobacco usage, the DC called for stringent measures and regular enforcement activities.
He also called upon Chief Education Officer Kathua to incorporate awareness messages on tobacco's ill effects during morning assemblies by organising Poster Making and other such competitions. He further asked the HoIs to exercise strict vigil to ensure that no tobacco products are sold within 100 yards of any educational institution.
The DC further instructed all government offices/establishments to be declared as No Smoking Zones and enforce the same strictly.Following the meeting, enforcement squads conducted random inspections at various hotspots in the district, sensitizing the public and issuing on-spot challans to violators of COTPA-2003 unequivocally conveying that such infringements will not be tolerated and will be met with resolute enforcement measures.