Impose strict ban on tobacco advertisements: VHAI


Srinagar:  Demanding strict implementation of ban on display of tobacco advertisements at the point of sale, Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI), Thursday asked the police to take strict action against those involved in violation of the ban.

Pertinently, the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Srinagar issued an order in February this year in compliance with Section 5 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA), 2003, directing the senior officials in the police department to remove all the illegal tobacco advertisements at point of sale in the districts of Srinagar, Budgam, Ganderbal, Leh and Kargil within fifteen days of the issuance of the order.


The order also directed the officials to take necessary legal action in the matter as per the relevant legal provisions against the distributors of tobacco products who are involved in distributing the advertisements among the retailers.

Interestingly, the copy of the order was also marked to Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Zone including SSP Budgam, SP Leh, SP Ganderbal and SP Kargil for similar necessary action in their respective jurisdictions.

“However, despite the order, the tobacco advertisements are still being displayed rampantly at point of sale across Srinagar and no action has been taken yet in removing these advertisement boards. This order needs to be implemented and fully complied in five districts of Kashmir region,” a VHAI spokesman said here.

Notably, the Supreme Court has already issued directions to all the State Governments to rigorously implement the rules restricting tobacco advertisements at the Point of Sale.

Complying with the Supreme Court directions the district administration of Anantnag has already initiated a drive against display of tobacco advertisements at point of sale promoting cigarette and other tobacco products in the main towns across the South Kashmir district.

Pertinently, raids were carried out which were headed by Tehsildars and assisted by Executive Officers of the concerned Municipal corporations and SHO’s who visited markets and removed all tobacco advertisements boards at point of sale. All the material was seized by the squad and shopkeepers were warned of repercussions if found offending the law in future. (PTK)


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