Police pull down Tobacco ads from shops


SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel on Saturday removed numerous tobacco advertisements promoting cigarette and other tobacco products put at display at the point of sale (PoS) in District Budgam.
A police team comprising several police officials removed the advertisements put at display at Sheikhpora, Humhama, Airport, Budgam town and various other places in the district.
“The advertisements were removed by the police personnel as these advertisements had come up at several places clearly violating the Supreme Court order against such ads,” a senior police official told Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI).
He said that all the material is being seized by the police squad and shopkeepers are being warned of repercussions if found offending the law in future.
Importantly, 26.6% of population in the state is using tobacco in one or the other form. There has also been a rampant growth of the violations in display of PoS boards as tobacco companies are clearly violating COTPA act 2003.
Section 5 of India’s tobacco control legislation “Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003?comprehensively prohibits all kinds of tobacco advertisement, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS).
Moreover, research has shown that tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship increase the likelihood that people will start using the product.
“Point of sale advertising is aggressively used by the tobacco industry to promote their products. There is an urgent need of effective implementation of a comprehensive ban on tobacco product advertisement, promotion and sponsorship at point of sale,” said, Afzal Makhdomi, J&K Consultant for Tobacco Control, Voluntary Health Association of India.
He appreciated the role of the police for the promptness and seriousness to curb this menace.
Interestingly, 26.6% population in Jammu & Kashmir is using tobacco product in one or the other of its form. Jammu & Kashmir has 12% cigarette smokers, 3.8% bidi smokers and 8.0% smokeless tobacco users. J&K’s cigarette use prevalence (12%) is almost double the nationwide prevalence of 5.7%. It has come to light that the highest proportion of adults (67.9%) exposed to tobacco smoke in offices are in J&K and the lowest (15.4%) are in Chandigarh.


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