Health department raises alarm on tobacco epidemic
Thursday, March 30, 2023

Health department raises alarm on tobacco epidemic

By EMN Updated: Mar 18, 2023 10:37 pm

DIMAPUR: The state Health and Family Welfare department has informed that tobacco epidemic has taken a heavy toll on society as indicated by the rising trend of incidence of diseases and economic burden related to tobacco use.

It stated that the National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) has been carrying out various activities to create awareness about the danger of tobacco products through awareness programmes in educational institutions, churches and communities.

The department has issued this statement in response to the recent news report regarding ban on tobacco products by a certain Naga political group and the subsequent questions raised by business organisations on the silence of the government.

The department stated that district tobacco control cells in all the districts are carrying out enforcement activities to enforce the provisions of COTPA 2003 on a regular basis.

Some important sections of COTPA 2003, which the department is prioritising included Section-4 that prohibits smoking in public places to protect non-smokers from the effect of second-hand smoke in public places, offices and workplaces; Section 6 (a) that bans sale of tobacco products to anybody below 18 years of age; and Section 6 (b) that bans sale of tobacco products within 100 metres of any educational institutions.

Besides, it added that the department is trying to invoke the provision of Section 77 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children Act, 2015). Under this section, if any person gives or cause to give to any child any intoxicating liquor, narcotic drugs or tobacco products or psychotropic substance except on the order of a duly qualified medical practitioner such person would be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend up to 7 years imprisonment or a fine which may extend up to INR one lakh. It added that officer from the rank of sub-inspector of police or equivalent rank in other departments are authorised to act on this.

Meanwhile, the NTCP state nodal officer, Dr. Arenla Walling, has called upon the society to fight tobacco menace before it becomes too late. The officer stated that tobacco is a serious threat to the wellbeing of younger generation.

It further stated that the department has been actively following the protocol laid down by the government of India under COTPA 2003 for tobacco control in the state.

By EMN Updated: Mar 18, 2023 10:37:02 pm