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Punjab Police to enforce ban on e-cigarettes, hookah bars

ANI | Updated: Feb 07, 2020 20:01 IST

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], Feb 7 (ANI): Acting on the directions of Health and Welfare Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu, 'State Tobacco Control Cell' in collaboration with the Punjab Police has initiated a state-level drive to curb tobacco use to save children and youth across the State.
State Tobacco Control cell organized a capacity building workshop for police officials under the National Tobacco Control Programme at Director Health Services Office in Chandigarh.
50 Police officials of the rank of Inspectors and Sub Inspectors across the State today attended this workshop.
Prabodh Kumar, Director, Bureau of Investigation said "Police officials are important stakeholders for the effective implementation of Anti Tobacco Laws. He assured that the Police department will now work in close collaboration with the Health Department to strictly implement the e-Cigarettes prohibition Act 2019 and other Anti Tobacco laws in the state."
Dr Avneet Kaur, Director Health Services, Punjab said that a total of 16,016 Challans have been issued from April-Dec 2019 and 23,886 Challans have been issued in 2018-19 against the violators in the State under Cigarette and other Tobacco Products Act, (COTPA) 2003.
"Hookah Bars have been permanently banned in the state after passing the Punjab COPTA amendment act 2018. She further said that under this act, the violators will be penalized up to 3 years imprisonment and Rs 50,000 fine," she added.
Meanwhile, Dr Rakesh Gupta, Director of Health Services (SI), Punjab made a presentation about the e-cigarettes. (ANI)
"Punjab was the first state where e-cigarettes have been declared as 'unapproved drug' since 2013. Government of India has now banned the sale of e-cigarettes in the entire country," he said.
"Under this E-Cigarettes Prohibition Act 2019, only Police officials at the rank of Sub Inspectors or above are authorized to take the action," he further said.
Dr Rana J Singh, Deputy Regional Director, The Union, South East Asia said that Punjab still has 27, 00,000 people using Tobacco as these products are freely available all over the state.
"Tobacco is also the most important preventable risk factor for all non-communicable diseases including cancer, hypertension, heart diseases, lung diseases and stroke etc," he said.
Dr Nirlep Kaur, State Nodal Officer, Tobacco Control, Punjab said that Tobacco Cessation centres have been established in all the districts of the state. she said that about 8,000 persons have been treated in tobacco cessation centres in Punjab from March 19 to December 19, 2019. (ANI)