DHSK, D&FCO jointly organize training programme on implementation of COTPA

SRINAGAR: On the directions of District Development Commissioner (DDC) Srinagar, Mohammad Aijaz Assad, a one day training programme of enforcement officers implementing Cigarette & Other Tobacco Products Act -2003 (COTPA) was conducted by the Directorate of Health Services Kashmir in collaboration with Drugs and Food Control Organization (D&FCO).
On the occasion, a detailed presentation was given by Hilal Ahmad Mir, Assistant commissioner Food Safety Srinagar regarding various provisions of the Act and how it can be effectively implemented to bring the graph of active and passive smokers down.
The Assistant Commissioner highlighted the need to confiscate all tobacco products being sold in violation of the Act. He further said that instead of inscribing pictorial warning on 85 percent of the principal display area of a cigarette pack, the pictures of fruits are depicted which has the tendency of luring the young generation towards smoking.
He emphasized on greater synergy between various departments for effective implementation of COTPA.
The role of D&FCO as a nodal agency was also highlighted and it was informed that cigarettes worth Rs 3, 17,170 have been seized for violation of pictorial warning and an amount of Rs 63,270 has also been imposed for smoking at public places. Besides, 40 cases have been instituted in the competent courts for violation of labeling requirements.
Dr Abdul Majeed Professor and HOD GMC Baramulla highlighted the ill effects of smoking and how it adversely impacts all the body parts starting from mouth to rectum. He further highlighted the importance of establishing tobacco cessation centers.
Dr. Naseer, Coordinator programme gave a detailed presentation on prevalence of tobacco at Global, National and regional level. He further elaborated the role of the Health Department in implementing the National Tobacco Control Program and State Tobacco Control Program.
Mushtaq Abbas Zakir, Nodal Officer COTPA Kashmir Division highlighted the importance of educating masses regarding ill effects of cigarette smoking besides effective implementation of COTPA.
The officers from Police, Health, Drugs and Food Control Organization, Education and Revenue participated in the training program.

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