To ensure the strict implementation of anti-tobacco laws, no less than 4,671 challans have been issued under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 (COTPA-2003) during the past eight months.
“Punjab Government has initiated a drive to eradicate tobacco use to save children and youth across the State under which sale of e-cigarettes, gutkha or pan masala with tobacco is banned in the State. Hookah bars have also been permanently banned in the State after amendment in COTPA-2003 (Punjab Amendment Act, 2018),” said the state Health and Family Welfare secretary Kumar Rahul, while presiding over the meeting of State level Coordination Committee.
He said that the multiple stakeholder departments’ engagement is a key to implement anti-tobacco laws and to curb the usage. At the same time, he directed all the stakeholder departments that no leniency should be shown against the violators and they must be dealt with an iron hand.
National Tobacco Control Programme’s state programme officer Dr Sandeep Singh Gill said that Punjab Health Department has been passionately pursuing the agenda to bring down tobacco consumption in Punjab and to achieve this aim, ‘Tobacco Cessation Centers’ have been established in all the districts.
“Free Tobacco cessation counselling and medicines like Bupropion, Nicotine gums, and patches are being provided in these centers to the patients who want to quit tobacco use,” he said.