Jammu and Kashmir Police has booked over 23,000 persons and recovered Rs 21.50 lakh as fine under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) during the last two years in the state, officials said on Thursday.
Police has booked 23,754 people for violating COTPA by smoking in public places from May 2013 to May 2015, they said.According to the officials, a fine of Rs 21.50 lakh was also collected from the offenders.
They said police is putting the violations of COTPA as one of the agenda points in the monthly crime review of the Station House Officers (SHOs) at the district level.
Jammu and Kashmir is only the second state after Karnataka, where police department is printing and distributing its own challan books for COTPA enforcement.
The state has 12 per cent cigarette smokers - almost double the nation-wide prevalence of 5.7 per cent - and 3.8 per cent 'bidi' smokers and eight per cent smokeless tobacco users, according to a survey released by union ministry of health and family welfare.
The Global Adult Tobacco Survey released by union ministry of Health and Family Welfare conveyed that 26.6 percent population of Jammu and Kashmir is using tobacco products in one or the other of its forms.
The survey also highlighted that the highest proportion of adults (67.9 per cent) exposed to tobacco smoke in offices are in Jammu and Kashmir and the lowest (15.4 per cent) are in Chandigarh.