If you are smoking at public places then get ready to be penalized under Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), as the Nagpur Rural police is committed to effectively implement this Act. A training programme was organised for police personnel of the district, so that Nagpur rural police start implementation of COTPA regularly.
The Cigarette & Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) prohibits smoking in public places, direct/indirect advertising & promotion, sale to/by minors, and its implementation will help reduce the tobacco menace.
Mr. Rakesh Ola – Superintendent of Police (SP), Nagpur organized a training program on COTPA on December 16, 2019 at police headquarters Nagpur Rural, Teka Naka in which 22 Police stations Police Officers participated from the district. The Training was conducted by Sambandh Health Foundation (SHF) supported by Chandrapur Crae Foundation. During the program, experience of Police in implementing COTPA in other 18 Districts of Maharashtra was also shared.
The Maharashtra Government has started a major initiative to reduce tobacco prevalence. The Tobacco Free Maharashtra Campaign was launched in Mumbai on January 24, 2018. Enforcement of COTPA by Police will contribute in reducing availability of tobacco products near schools, smoking in public places and sale to minors.
Police is a strong enforcement agency and must implement COTPA regularly and effectively, which will certainly reduce access to reduce prevalence of tobacco.
Challaning action has started under various Police Station area, and number of people were challaned under Section 4 of COTPA, which prohibits smoking in public places.
It is to be mentioned that 2.4 crore people use tobacco in Maharashtra in form of smoking and chewing; 72,000 users die annually due to diseases attributed to tobacco while 530 children are introduced to tobacco every day.
Committed to the cause, Mr. Rakesh Ola, SP Nagpur Rural said, “Smoking in any public places is injurious to health and is an offence. Besides impacting his own health, the smoker also affects health of 2 to 4 other people standing close by. This causes serious health issues – cancer, respiratory and cardiac diseases. Even more alarming is the introduction to tobacco usage of children and youth. Smoking in public places and selling tobacco products to children are offences under the COTPA and Nagpur Police will take strict action under COTPA.”
Dr. Pranav Ingole, Cancer surgeon and Voice of Tobacco Victims (VoTV) patron said, “50% of all cancers and 90% of oral cancers are caused due to tobacco. My patients, who undergo major oral cancer surgeries, undergo huge trauma and loss in their quality of lives and almost 50% do not survive more than a year. They all regret consuming tobacco. Prevention is better than cure, so I request the Police to contribute significantly by stepping up implementation of COTPA.”
Dr. Paul Sebastian, Tata Trusts said, “I am a cancer surgeon myself and have seen families being destroyed due to tobacco. In Maharashtra, alone 529 children initiate tobacco use every day. Every year 72,000 people die due to tobacco-related illnesses. COTPA implementation will definitely help in reducing tobacco menace.”