No hotels, restaurants in state has established no-tobacco zone
Kohima, Nov. 5 (EMN): Hospitality and food establishments such as hotels and restaurants have yet to establish tobacco-free zones. This was stated during the quarterly meeting of the district tobacco control cell of Kohima district that was conducted on November 5 in the deputy commissioner’s office conference hall in Kohima.
During the meeting, N Savino of the directorate of Health and Family Welfare said that till date no hotel or restaurant in the state has established tobacco-free zones. He requested the team to focus on restaurants and hotels in the next campaign as they are the places where visitors stay.
“If we can implement this, then it will give a very good impression to the other parts of the world,” he said.
Savino said tobacco control is required in the society because of its ill effects in the health. He hoped that ‘at least we can control some diseases in our state.’
“In our territory, there are so many cancer patients these days where usually every month we refer 30-40 cases to outside the state for treatment,” he said. The official mentioned that 40 percent of the cases are mostly cancer patients where half of the cases are related to mouth, throat and blood cancer mostly caused directly or indirectly by tobacco,” he said.
“With the effort of the team, 24 dental clinics, eight villages, seven hospitals and clinics, 87 schools and colleges and 12 police stations have established tobacco-free zones,” he said.
In the day’s meeting, 14 police stations and institutions were given certificates for establishing tobacco-free zones. They are the Kezocha police station, Khuzama police station, south police station, north police station, women police station, Chiephobozou police station, Tseminyu police station, Zubza police station, north traffic police, south traffic police, police superintendent’s office in Kohima; mobile unit; and Baptist College, and the Christ for the Nations College, also in Kohima.
The officials discussed that the tobacco control cell will continue its raids on shops that are in the tobacco-free zones in the coming days.
Gregory Thejawelie, deputy commissioner of Kohima, also the chairman of the district tobacco control cell, remarked that “unless actions are taken, people do not follow the rules.” He requested the committee to continue to put in more efforts and ensure to educate the people about the ill-effects of tobacco use.
It was also informed that trade licenses of shopkeepers will be seized by the committee for repeat offense of selling tobacco in tobacco-free institutions. The enforcement will be based on Section-6 (b) of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act of 2003 or COTPA 2003.
The superintendent of Kohima police Kevithuto Sophie, also appealed to the police officers of various jurisdictions to look after their tobacco-free areas. Setting up of tobacco control committees and keeping a separate smoking zone or rooms in police stations was also discussed.
The officials in the meeting also highlighted the prohibition of electronic-cigarettes by the government of India. An ordinance dated September 19 2019 states that e-cigarettes including all forms of electronic nicotine delivery systems are prohibited. However, it does not include any product licensed under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act of 1940.
Online sale and advertisement have also been prohibited. However, individual possession of e-cigarettes for personal use is not an offence, it stated.