Head Constable authorised to Challan offender Smoke Tobacco at Public Places
KS Diwan/ royalpatiala.in/ Chandigarh
In order to ensure the strict compliance of Anti Tobacco Laws in Punjab, State Government has issued the list of competent persons to issue challan who smoke tobacco at public places. Now, All police officials equivalent to the rank of Head Constable or above and police officials who are authorized to issue traffic challan are also competent to act against any person who commits any offence under section 4 or section 6 of Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Supply and Distribution Act-2003 within jurisdiction in the State of Punjab.
To review the action taken by stakeholder departments under State Tobacco Control Programme, a meeting of State level Coordination Committee was held under chairmanship of Additional Chief Secretary Health, Satish Chanrda. Chandra stated that the sale of cigarette packet without having 85 percent of pictorial warning about tobacco causes cancer is crime. He directed the Excise department to take strict action against the offenders who were involved in the business of Illegal sale of imported cigarette packets and flavored/scanted tobacco products.
Punjab has already banned the sale and distribution of Flavored/scented chewable tobacco and Sale of E cigarettes in the state. He instructed the officers to book the shopkeepers and also keep them under the scanner of health authorities. Hookah bars have been permanently banned in the state after amendment in COTPA, 2003 (Punjab Amendment Act, 2018).
Dr. Nirlep Kaur, State Programme officer, National Tobacco Control Programme informed that as many as 16,828 challans issued to the violators and Rs.9.4 lakh collected as fine under anti tobacco campaign during April 2018 to December, 2018. She said that total 8733 tobacco users have been availed the services of Tobacco Cessation centers. Free Tobacco cessation counseling and medicines like Bupropion, Nicotine gums and patches are being provided in these centers to the patients who want to quit Tobacco use, said Dr. Kaur.
Amit Kumar, Mission Director, National Health Mission said that Punjab Government is collaborating TB programme along with Tobacco control Programme for addressing TB and tobacco use co-morbidity in the three districts:- Sangrur, Kapurthala & SAS Nagar on pilot basis.
The Punjab Government has authorized all Heads of the Departments, all Executive Magistrates, all Assistant Labour Commissioners, al Gazetted Officers of State and Central Government and equivalent rank and above in autonomous organizations/PSU, all the Commissioners, Executives Officers of Municipal Corporations and Municipal Councils, all Principals, Headmasters, Headmistress and other Heads of Educational Institutions in the State, Inspector of Central Excise, Income Tax Customs, Sale Tax, Transport and above, Station Masters, Assistant Station Masters, Station Heads, Station In charge, Post Masters and above, Airport Managers, Officers of Airport Authority of India & Officers of all schedule Airlines, seniors officers of Health Department to issue challan under section 4 or section 6 of Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Supply and Distribution Act-2003 within jurisdiction in the State of Punjab.