Stresses for massive awareness to curb public smoking, ill effects of OTPs
BUDGAM: The Deputy Commissioner (DC) Budgam, Shahbaz Ahmed Mirza who is also Chairman District Health Society today chaired a review meeting of District Level Coordination Committee for implementation of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, COTPA-2003 under National Tobacco Control Program, here.
At the outset, the CMO Budgam informed the meeting that a District Tobacco Control Cell has been established in the District which is imparting necessary awareness to General public including Health and Social workers about the ill effects of tobacco products and ban on smoking in public.
He said that the cell constituted also carries counseling sessions for those who are involved in the habit of smoking besides monitoring the implementation of Tobacco products control Laws across the District.
Speaking on the occasion, the DC said that Coordination among all concerned line departments, Civil Society, NGOs, Schools and Colleges is critical to create awareness against ill consequences of Tobacco products particularly smoking.
The DC instructed Principal GDCs, ITI and School heads to ensure that no sale of Tobacco products is permitted within 100 meters of institution premises.
Similarly all BDOs and E.O Municipal Committees working in the District were directed to carry awareness campaigns at panchayat levels so that the message about ban on smoking in public and hazardous effects of Tobacco products reaches grass roots level.
All the departments in the District shall install placards and banners depicting a message about ill consequences of Tobacco products, the DC instructed.
The CMO Budgam apprised the chair that hoardings carrying strong message against smoking and usage of other Tobacco based products shall be installed at many public places for wider publicity.
The DC on the occasion exhorted upon all concerned stakeholders to regularly monitor the implementation of COTPA-2003 which aims at curbing Tobacco menace in society. He further directed that the District Tobacco Control Cell shall receive a weekly report from all corners of the District regarding implementation of various provisions of law under COTPA-2003.
Commenting upon the fixation of accountability, the DC said that rigorous inspections shall be carried out across the District so as to ensure the District is made fully COTPA compliant.
ADDC, Principles of GDC Budgam, Beerwah, ACD, CMO, DEPO and other concerned officers and officials attended the meeting.