Navi Mumbai CP organises special training on COPTA act

A smoker can affect the health of 2 to 4 other people standing close by through passive smoking. Smoking in public places and selling tobacco products to children is an offense under the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA). COTPA prohibits smoking in public places, direct/indirect advertising and promotion of tobacco products, sale to/by minors, sale within 100 yards of schools and sale of tobacco-products without statutory warnings

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“Smoking in public places is injurious to health and is also an offense. Besides impacting their own health, the smoker can also affect the health of 2 to 4 other people standing close by. This causes some serious health issues – cancer, respiratory and cardiac diseases. Even more alarming is the introduction to tobacco usage to the children and the youth. Smoking in public places and selling tobacco products to children is an offence under the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) and Navi Mumbai Police will take strict action under COTPA,” said Navi Mumbai’s Commissioner of Police Hemant Nagrale, who organized a special Training Programme for 55 Police Officers on COTPA on April 17.

COTPA prohibits smoking in public places, direct/indirect advertising and promotion of tobacco products, sale to/by minors, sale within 100 yards of schools and sale of tobacco-products without statutory warnings.

The training programme was organised under the guidance of Navi Mumbai DCP Tushar Doshi and was conducted by Sambandh Health Foundation’s Deepak Chhibba, Devidas Shinde, and Shrikant Jadhav. The various offenses under COTPA and actions which Police can take were explained through videos and photos.

A special booklet in Marathi, on these topics was given to the participants. Police Officers from CBD Belapur, NRI Police station, Kalamboli, Rabale, Panvel City, Kamothe, Vashi and Khandeshwar participated and took a keen interest in learning COTPA law and its implementation. DCP Doshi said, “This training highlights the role which COTPA can play in reducing the consumption and ill effects of tobacco usage”.

Dr Prashant Pawar, an Oncologist from Fortis and Apollo Hospitals took an informative session during the training and said, “Tobacco usage causes 90% of oral cancers which leads to fatalities, major loss of quality of life, trauma and financial ruin for the family. There are also other serious illnesses caused by tobacco use and the impact extends to non-users through the passive smoke and spitting. Prevention is better than cure – the Police can contribute significantly by stepping up implementation of COPTA, which will prevent the youth from tobacco addiction.”

Nimesh Sumati of NGO Caring Friends said, “In Maharashtra, every day around 529 children is initiated into tobacco use. Each year 105,000 people are diagnosed with cancers associated with tobacco use. COTPA implementation will help in reducing this tobacco menace.”