With drugs and tobacco consumption among students rising alarmingly in J&K, the government has directed the concerned authorities to check the shops selling tobacco products close to schools. The government has also asked to ensure ban on the sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of the premises of all educational institutions. According to the government order it has asked the CEO’s ZEO’s and other concerned officials to direct a copy of the action taken to the Commissioner/Secretary to the Government School Education Department as well. “The Education Department should ensure compliances under Section 6 (a) and (b) of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA), 2003, and ensure that “No Smoking” signboards were displayed in and around the educational institutions,” the order reads. Minister for School Education Naeem Akhter recently launched a “Tobacco-free educational institutions” campaign in the state. “Concerned officials should work with the district police to initiate action to book those violating COTPA near educational institutions and submit a monthly report to the directorate indicating the action taken and follow-up actions initiated every month,” the minister has said. As per Section 6 of COTPA, there is a ban on the sale of tobacco to and by minors and prohibition on sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions.
2015 Kashmir Despatch