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Mon, 16 Dec 2019

Northeast Today

Tobacco Ban: Dispur is Strict on COPTA after Letter from Centre

Tobacco Ban: Dispur is Strict on COPTA after Letter from Centre
October 19
13:04 2019

NET Bureau

Following a letter from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Dispur is now going strict for scrupulous adherence to the rules under the COPTA by management committees of educational institutions in the State so as to shield students from tobacco products.

This is not the only case when Assam had to act strictly only after getting a letter from the Centre. In the recent past, Union Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Zubin Irani had to draw the attention of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal into the poor implementation of the Sexual Harassment at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal) Act, 2013 in the State.

As per Section 4 of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulations of Trade and Commerce Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COPTA), no person is allowed to smoke in public places. Further, as per the provisions of Section 6 of COPTA, 2003, no person shall sell, offer for sale, or permit the sale of cigarettes or any other tobacco products to any person below the age of 18 years, and in an area within hundred yards radius of any educational institution.

Although COPTA was implemented a long time back, the same was not effective in Assam and most states of the Northeast. As such, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare addressed a formal letter to the Chief Secretary of Assam, to follow the guidelines as stipulated under the Act.

The letter mandated that to ensure the effective implementation of Section 6 of COPTA, 2003 and to protect the vulnerable population, especially young children from exposure to tobacco use, ‘the Guidelines for Tobacco-Free Educational Institutions’ (ToFEI) (Revised) have been released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Now the State Department of Education has asked all the management committees of education institutions to scrupulously follow the guidelines of the Act.

Source: The Sentinel

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