Anti-smoking drive runs out of steam; smoking at public places persists | punjab | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Feb 23, 2017-Thursday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Anti-smoking drive runs out of steam; smoking at public places persists

punjab Updated: May 31, 2014 21:36 IST
Jatinder Kohli
Jatinder Kohli
Hindustan Times
anti

Even as the district was declared smoke-free on February 1 this year, many people are thumbing their nose at the law by openly smoking at public places here.

Moreover, anti-smoking drive of the health department seems to be running out of steam as there are hardly any cases wherein challans are being issued to the violators even after the district was accorded the smoke-free status.

The statistics reveal that before the state government declared the district smoke-free, the health department used to issue around 100-180 challans every month while the figure has come below 50 at present.

People can be seen smoking at the railway station, bus stand, parking lots, restaurants, offices, stalls, markets and other public places.

A person was even spotted smoking a beedi outside the Jalandhar civil surgeon's office on Saturday.

Violation of rules by those selling cigarettes across the city, particularly near schools and colleges, is also a big challenge to the health department.

Display boards carrying statutory warnings about the hazardous effects of smoking on health put up by the health department at places selling cigarettes and other tobacco products have not yielded any results. Munna, a cigarette stall owner near Basti Adda chowk, said he did not even know about the law on the sale of tobacco products to minors.

Dr SK Anand, a physician, said smoking at public places was going on unchecked and it was high time that the authorities concerned took strict action against those violating the law and also putting endangering the health of other people.

He said there was a need to involve non-government organisations (NGOs) in the anti-smoking drive to achieve a greater impact and results.

Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 or COTPA prohibits smoking at all public places. At present, a fine of up to Rs 200 is being imposed on those smoking in public places.

Section 4 of COTPA and subsequent rules notified (Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places Rules, 2008) prohibit smoking at public places for protecting people from passive smoking, which can cause serious health problems, including heart diseases, lung cancer, severe asthma attacks, sudden infant death syndrome etc, among children and adults.

Under the Act, smoking is banned at places such as , including hospitals, railway waiting rooms, amusement centres, restaurants, public offices, court buildings, educational institutions, libraries and auditoriums to which the public has access.

Civil surgeon Dr RL Bassan said, "We are issuing challans to violators on a regular basis and also creating awareness among the public."

"Railway and transport departments should also take action against the violators as challan books have been issued to them," he added.

On being slow while issuing challans by officials, Bassan said, "I will talk to the district health officer (DHO) to expedite the process."



Blatant disregard to rules

People are spotted smoking at the city railway station, bus stand, parking lots, restaurants, offices, stalls, markets and other public places.

A person was even spotted smoking a beedi outside the Jalandhar civil surgeon's office on Saturday.
Violation of rules by those selling cigarettes across the city, particularly near schools and colleges, is also a big challenge to the health department.

Seminar on tobacco hazards
On the occasion of the World No Tobacco Day, the health department in association with the police department held a seminar at PAP Ground highlighting the hazards of tobacco products. Civil surgeon RL Bassan said smoking caused various type of cancer, lung diseases, heart diseases. DIG Arunpal Singh highlighted the bad effects of smoking and tobacco products on health.


QUOTE
"Railway and transport departments should also take action against the violators as challan books have been issued to them."
— Dr RL Bassan, civil surgeon


Tata Tea’s Anthem of apathy
Partnered feature