Mysuru: The City Police and the District Administration have taken measures for the effective enforcement of the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA).
An investigation team, led by COTPA Surveillance Officers, District Surveillance Officer and Programme Officer Dr. Kusuma, recently conducted raids on shops, bars, restaurants, hotels and Kirana shops that were selling tobacco products near educational institutions and other public places.
The team seized tobacco products including foreign cigarettes and a fine of Rs. 2,450 was levied, said a press release. Over 25 cases have been booked.
The raids began from Mysuru South Police Station and spread across Bus Stand, RMC Yard, Bandipalya and Varuna Police Station.
Along with the raids, an awareness drive was also launched where shopkeepers were sensitised on the bad effects of tobacco. Such drives will be intensified in coming days and at Taluk levels.
COTPA aims at regulating the use of cigarettes and other tobacco products. As per the Act, if anyone is seen selling cigarettes or other tobacco products within 100 yards of campuses of educational institutions, complaints can be filed against the person at the nearest Police Station and the Police will act against such violators.
Raids were conducted near many colleges and educational institutions where cigarettes were sold within 100 mts of the college and where no boards were put up warning minors and children, The Police seized many tobacco products and also levied fines. Some shopkeepers have been asked to vacate the place.
Action has been taken to enforce the ban under Sections 4, 5, 6 and 6 B of the COTPA. Section 4 of COTPA bans smoking in public places, Section 5 bans all form of direct and indirect advertisements, Section 6 bans sale of tobacco products to minors, Section 6B prohibits sale of tobacco products within 100 yards from schools and colleges.
At present, if a person is caught smoking in public places such as bus stands, railway stations, cinema halls, hospitals, libraries, Government hospitals and other public places, he/ she is fined Rs. 200 under Section 4 of COTPA, either by Police or by the Corporation Health Officials.