Churachandpur: The District Health Society under the NTCP Programme organised a one-day district-level training on the Tobacco Control Act, including the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 (COTPA), and Tobacco Free Educational Institution (ToFEI) guidelines today at the DC Conference Hall, Mini Secretariat, Churachandpur.
Deputy Commissioner, Dr. Sharath Chandra Arroju; ADC, Khaikhopau Ngaihte; ASP, Deshorjit Singh; Chief Medical Officer, Dr. T. Vanlalkungi; and officials from government departments attended the training.
Speaking on the occasion as the chief guest, Dr. Sharath Chandra Arroju, stated that exposure to tobacco smoke and consumption of tobacco products is one of the leading causes of death, cardiovascular diseases, and disability. He added that cigarettes are still being sold within 100 yards (92 metres) of educational institutes despite regulations under the COTPA 2003.
He urged the relevant officials involved, be they the district administration, the medical officials, or the law enforcement agencies, to educate ‘themselves’ and equip themselves with adequate knowledge to curb the menace of rampant selling of tobacco products near educational institutions.
Section 6 of COTPA 2003 states that cigarettes should not be sold to a minor. It also prohibits the sale within a 100-yard radius of any educational institute. Section 4 of the COTPA 2003 prohibits smoking in all public places.
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2015, also stated in Section 77 that, “It is an offence against a child if a person gives or causes to be given to any child any intoxicating liquor or any narcotic drug or tobacco product or psychotropic substance, except on the order of a duly qualified medical practitioner; it shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend up to seven years and shall also be liable to a fine which may extend up to one lakh rupees.”
President, Sangai Youth Institution, Premjit Thokchom, and State Consultant, NTCP, SM Moonkhum, presented papers on the subject.