Gazetted officers of various departments will now issue challans to persons found smoking at public places. The district administration made the announcement during a meeting conducted to make Ludhiana smoke-free, at Bachat Bhawan on Thursday.
Additional deputy commissioner Baldev Singh, civil surgeon Subash Batta and and heads of various departments attended the meeting.
A discussion was held regarding Cigarette and Other Tobacco Product Act (COTPA) while the district health department appealed to people to quit smoking to lead a healthy life and also to cooperate with officials to make Ludhiana smokefree.
District health officer Abnash Kumar said no one would be allowed to sell tobacco products within 100 yards of an educational institution.
“Public will be made aware through awareness camps and the media. If anybody is found smoking at a public place, they could be fined up to Rs 200. If anybody is found advertising tobacco products, they could be fined up to Rs 5,000 and face imprisonment up to five years. Any person under the age of 18 found selling or purchasing tobacco products could be fined up to Rs 200 under section 6A of COTPA 2003,” said Anil Verma, district epidemiologist.
Verma further said according to a survey, recently conducted across states, out of 6.77 lakh males aged between 30 and 69, in Ludhiana about 1.09 lakh were smokers.