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India


Police to crackdown on smokers at public places, violators of COPTA

Police to crackdown on smokers at public places, violators of COPTA

New Delhi, May 29 (UNI) As around five million children are addicted to tobacco and the number is increasing in India, Delhi Police announced to crackdown at the violators of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Prohibition Act(COPTA). COPTA Act bars smoking at public places, promotion of tobacco products, sale to minors and near educational institutions and mandatory pictorial warnings on tobacco packets. A pledge to strictly enforce the law to save children from tobacco was reiterated here by K Kamraj, Special Commissioner (Law and Order) on the launch of 'Tobacco-Free Delhi' campaign in collaboration with Sambanth Health Foundation and Voice of Tobacco victims (VoTv). The campaign is supported by Max India Foundation. Calling cigarette smoking at a public place a 'serious crime' in the society as it affected health of others, Mr Kamraj underlined that police had been penalising law defaulters earlier also. Asked if challans be imposed on those smoking at public places from tomorrow, the Special CP put in clear words that action will be taken against them as per law and fines imposed. Mr Kamraj also assured to look into complaints of policemen smoking and chewing tobacco during duty hours. He advocated for counseling for addicted persons and favored a massive general awareness campaign to discourage prevalence of tobacco in society while releasing a COPTA guideline booklet for policemen. Dr Harit Chaturvedi, VoTv Patron and Chairman Max Oncology, said 90 per cent people start smoking or chewing tobacco during their teenage and if one restrains her/himself during that period, chances get very low of addiction. During the campaign, the police will also educate owners of public places such as educational institutes, malls, eateries, and other organisations about the various sections of the law. UNI RG SW 1510

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