Punjab health and family welfare minister Surjit Kumar Jyani has directed the deputy commissioners of all districts to ensure forceful implementation of the government directive to impose complete ban on sale of tobacco and related products.
The minister said the sale of single-stick cigarette and other tobacco products near the educational and religious institutes under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003, in Punjab should also be banned.
In a statement here, Jyani said a notification in this regard had been issued. The officers concerned had been especially asked to keep a close vigil near schools, colleges and coaching institutes and ensure complete ban on sale of single-stick cigarettes and all kinds of tobacco products within 100 yards of these institutes. Anybody violating the directive would be dealt with strictly, he added.
The minister said district-level monitoring committees had also been constituted by the health department, which would inspect the areas under their jurisdiction and check whether any such kiosk or shop was functional near educational and religious institutes.
They have been asked to instantaneously report to the authorities so that the shops could be closed immediately and strict action taken against the owners for not complying with the government order.