Barrackpore Police cracks down on tobacco sellers near schools
Kolkata: Barrackpore Police Commissionerate on Friday has cracked down on the stalls that sell tobacco products within 100 yards of any school premises.Senior police officers in Barrackpore started raids at various stalls and actions were taken against those violating the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 (COTPA).Police started this on World Head and Neck Cancer Day, spreading a strong message about the ill-effects of consuming tobacco. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeCOTPA prohibits smoking in public places, direct/indirect advertising & promotion, sale to/by minors and also sale within 100 yards of schools. Police have slapped fine on smokers in public places and tobacco sellers within 100 yards of school premises and across all police stations under Barrackpore police commissionerate were also fined.According to Global Adult Tobacco Survey – 2017, 1.5 lakh people die untimely deaths every year due to tobacco related diseases and as many as 438 children start consumption of tobacco daily. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedCOTPA special training was given to Barrackpore Police on 26 July where police officers from 13 police stations took part. Rajesh Kumar Singh, Commissioner of Police, Barrackpore, and DCP Amitabh Barma and Samir Basak, ACP (Head Quarters) arranged the training programme.Mr Rajesh Kumar Singh, Commissioner of Police said: “Barrackpore Police is committed to save the youth and will ensure COTPA implementation through conducting enforcement drives on regular basis throughout all police stations covering public places and areas adjacent to educational institutions. The implementation of COTPA was started with a focus on the protection of youth from getting into addiction.” According to doctors, tobacco usage causes 90% of oral cancers which lead to fatalities, major loss of quality of life, trauma and financial ruin for the family.Many of the doctors, who have participated in the anti-tobacco drive, appreciated Barrackpore Police for its action on COTPA, which will bring down miseries caused due to tobacco consumption.It may be mentioned that Barrackpore Police Commissionerate announced the drive on July 18 and promised to take stringent actions against those who will be found smoking in public places. With an aim to transform Barrackpore into a tobacco-free zone, the Barrackpore Police Commissionerate also organised a walkathon to spread awareness among people and the students of various schools and colleges.