Tribune News Service
Amritsar, August 19
While the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products is prohibited within a 100- yard radius of educational institutions, vendors are flouting the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition) Act without any fear of law.
Such vends can be seen near most of the educational centres in the city. Residents said the guidelines related to the sale of tobacco products should be strictly implemented.
If increased number of cigarette vends is an indicator of consumption of tobacco products, then numerous awareness campaigns launched by the government and the NGOs have failed in their objective.
Smoking at public places is a serious issue, but it cannot be checked by one or two departments. It requires huge manpower to check violation in the entire city. —A health official
Apart from selling tobacco products near the institutes, , law also prohibits vendors to sell it to minors. However, at many of these vends, minors can be seen selling and purchasing tobacco products.
The city was accorded a ‘smoke-free city’ status around nine years ago. As part of the initiative, all the government departments were given challan books to penalise violators at public places.
Other than the Health Department and the Police Department, no other government office joined the cause.
A health official said, “Smoking at public places is a serious issue, but it cannot be checked by a single or two departments. It requires huge manpower to check violation in the entire city.”
As per the guidelines of the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition) Act, sale of tobacco products to minors and sale within the periphery of an educational institution is a criminal offence and offender could be jailed for upto seven years.
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