Lax enforcement of the tobacco control legislation in Jammu and Kashmir has led Governor NN Vohra to issue directions to the administration for ensuring strict enforcement of Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) 2003.
The Governor, in a direction issued on Saturday, ordered the administration to fully gear up for ensuring that anti-tobacco information is disseminated among general masses in every corner of the state. Appreciating the laudable work carried out by the J&K Voluntary Health & Development Association in highlighting the dangerous effects of cigarette smoking, the Governor urged civil society and non-profit organisations to join hands to collectively combat this menace.
"Smoking remains the second largest risk factor for early death and disability. To further reduce its impact we must intensify tobacco control efforts and discourage this menace, at all levels, in J&K. All of us must fight it individually and together on all fronts," the Governor said. The Governor directed the administrative machinery to ensure that no person is allowed to smoke in public places except in the special smoking zones in hotels, restaurants and at airports.
Governor stressed the need to effectively check advertisements of tobacco products as the same are prohibited under the law. He directed strict check to ensure that tobacco products are not sold to a person below the age of 18 years at any place within 100 metres radius from the outer boundary of an educational institution. He also stressed the need for launching a vibrant publicity and awareness campaign among the masses, especially youth, to discourage the consumption of tobacco products. Such an initiative would help in improving the health of the younger generation.