Soon, teachers may fine people selling tobacco to kids
- Soon, teachers may fine people selling tobacco to kids
Posted by: "Sheetal - Karmayog" info@...
Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:49 am (PDT)
Soon, teachers may fine people selling tobacco to kids.....Teena Thacker
If the Union health ministry has its way, principals, teachers and municipal officers could soon get the authority to fine people selling tobacco products to minors,
To ensure proper implementation of ban on smoking in public places, the ministry has proposed to authorise more people - teachers, education inspectors, drug and food inspectors, municipal officers, panchayat members -to fine the violators by amending the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade & Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, which prohibits sale of tobacco products to people under 18 years of age and near educational institutions. The proposal has been sent to the law ministry.
"As of now police have the authority to fine those selling tobacco products to minors and those selling these within 100 yards of education institutions... The idea is to broaden the horizon so that effective action can be taken against the violators. The proposal for amendment has been sent for vetting to the Law Ministry," said a senior official in the health ministry.
"Those authorised could fine violators up to Rs 200. The states can see how to implement this (proposal) once we notify it," the official added.
Health ministry officials said the proposal was a rip-off of a similar practice in the US. Tobacco kills about 90,0000 people in India every year, a major chunk of the 5.5 million tobacco-related deaths worldwide.
"It has been seen that often minors catch hold of this habit due to its easy assess, we want this to be stopped," the official said.
According to a recent Global Adult Tobacco Survey, some 35 percent of adults in India use tobacco in some form or the other - 21 percent or 163.7 million adults use smokeless tobacco, 9 per cent smoke and 5 percent smoke as well as use smokeless tobacco.
Meanwhile, the health ministry has also launched a mass media campaign against bidi smoking under the National Tobacco Control Programme. The main message of the campaign, to be aired on TV and radio in 14 languages, is: "Quitting smoking is hard, but consequence of not quitting harder".