Srinagar, June 3: To ensure that loose cigarettes and other tobacco products are not sold by the vendors operating outside schools, a special squad from the Drugs and Food and Control Department today conducted surprise checks at various places in City Center Lal Chowk.
The team headed by Assistant Commissioner Food Safety, Department of Drugs and Food Control, Hilal Ahmad Mir along with several food inspectors booked numerous vendors and destroyed dozens of cigarette packs that were being sold illegally and were not depicting the mandatory 85% pictorial health warnings. The team also destroyed numerous packs of chewable tobacco packs.
“We have decided to carry out a vigorous campaign against the menace of tobacco, be it cigarettes or other tobacco products. Today we booked several vendors at Lal Chowk, Bund Area, Regal Chowk, Exchange Road and other places. We not only destroyed cigarette packs without the mandatory pack warnings but also booked several vendors for selling loose cigarettes and other tobacco products outside schools,” Mir said.
Pertinently, the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) enacted in the year 2003 is aimed to discourage the consumption of tobacco products through progressive restrictions and to protect non-smokers from passive smoking.
“Leading a fight against tobacco is one of the key tasks of our department as the menace of cigarettes and tobacco is threatening our posterity. This is a social cause and everybody should put in his bit to rid the society of this fast spreading evil,” the Assistant Commiss-ioner said.
“We have given them two days’ time so that they will remove the advertisements voluntarily. If the distributors fail to do so we will initiate challaning of the vendors and if the need arises strict action will also be initiated against them,” Mir added.