Police Department: Geared up for Tobacco/Nicotine control in Punjab

Chandigarh, May 13 (Bureau) For accelerating the pace of tobacco control activities, the Director, Bureau of Investigation, Punjab, Chandigarh in a commendable move directed all Commissioners of Police, Senior Superintendent of Police and AIG/GRP, Punjab to enforce Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003(COTPA)across Punjab. Directions have also been issued to regular review of COTPA implementation in their MCR (monthly crime review) meetings and regular collection of violation related data, implementation of Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act 2015 regarding sale of Tobacco to minors, Poisons Act regarding serving of Nicotine as E-Cigarettes and Hukkah Bars and Motor Vehicle Act regarding smoking in vehicles.
This action by the police came in response to the State Level Coordination Committee (SLCC) and State Level Monitoring Committee (SLMC) held on 28-03-2016 under the Chairpersonship of Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, Mrs. Vini Mahajan. She said that it is the responsibility of every stakeholder department and civil society who are members of the State & District Level Coordination Committee to create awareness about hazards of tobacco and implement the anti-tobacco/nicotine laws effectively.
The role of Police Department is very crucial to control the menace of tobacco/nicotine. Police department is the fulcrum on which the success of tobacco control rests. Mr. HussanLal, Commissioner, Food & Drug Administration said that a coordinated effort from all stakeholders departments is the essence of controlling the menace of tobacco and nicotine.
Dr.Rakesh Gupta, State Program Officer, National Tobacco Control Cell, Punjab has felicitated the police department for this effort made by them. He said with police playing an active role in the implementation of anti-tobacco laws, the fight against tobacco and nicotine shall be geared up in Punjab. Dr. Gupta also told that a Civil Writ Petition is going on in High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh in which a quarterly report is filled by the Health Department about the abuse nicotine in chemical form.
Punjab has already notified a Permanent State and District Level task force that monitors COTPA and abuse of Nicotine in chemical form. It is also conducting regular enforcement drive of which police is an important part to check the menace of E-Cigarettes and Hukkah Bars.

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