Kohima dist appoints COTPA enforcement officers
Kohima, February 26
In a move towards totally enforcing the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) 2003, the Kohima district administration and District Tobacco Control Cell (DTCC) has appointed enforcement officers and flying squads. The enforcement officers and flying squads were given sensitization on Harmful Effects of Tobacco and COTPA 2003 organised by Kohima District Tobacco Control Cell under National Tobacco Control Programme at LSC building here today.
District Nodal Officer (National Tobacco Control Programme) Dr. Arenla Walling said that the district administration and DTCC has appointed one each tobacco control officer in 46 government departments while nine flying squads comprising of police and NGOs have also constituted to enforce COTPA in the district.
She also informed that the enforcement officers and flying squads would get into their job with immediate effect.
The team would see that the government offices put up signage showing No Smoking while the flying squads would be enforcing COTPA, which prohibits sale of tobacco products to and by a person below 21 years of age, advertisement of tobacco products and smoking in public places.
She also informed that the Naga Hospital Authority Kohima has facility of Tobacco Cessation Cell for those wanting to quit tobacco. Informing that experts are available for consultation on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am to 1pm, she requested the general public to avail the facility.
Additional Director (Dental) Directorate of Health & Family Welfare, Dr. N. Savino dwelling at length on COTPA 2003 said that though the Act came into force in 2009, however no drastic measures have been adopted in the State.
He said that under Act a person below the age of 21 years should not be selling or buying tobacco products while restrictions have also been put on advertisement of tobacco. Smoking in public places is prohibited under the Act, he said adding hotels, restaurants, taxis and buses should also have ‘No Smoking’ signs while educational institutions should also put up boards restricting sale of tobacco products within their jurisdiction. He also informed that schools should also restrict sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of the school vicinity.
He said the Act also provides opportunities for Airports and Hotels/Restaurants to set up Smoking Room but with proper specifications. Defaulters of the Act are punishable under the law, he added.
In his brief address, Kohima Deputy Commission, W. Honje Konyak shared on the harmful effects and expressed serious concern. He also stressed on the need to focus citizen abide by law while also calling upon the stake holders to strategize enforcement of the Act in toto.
During the programme seven schools of Kohima district i.e. Mewi, DBS HSS, Mt. Carmel, Chandmari Government HS, St. John, Bayavü HS and Chandmari HSS were presented with Tobacco Free School certificate.
The programme was chaired by Junior Specialist NHAK, Dr. K. Rosy Yhome.