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DC B’la chairs DLCC meet on National Tobacco Control Programme

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Directs officers to focus on Youth Awareness & Enforcement of Regulations

BARAMULLA: The Deputy Commissioner (DC) Baramulla, Minga Sherpa Tuesday chaired a review meeting of District Level Coordination Committee (DLCC) for implementation of COTPA-2003 (Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act-2003) and National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) in District Baramulla.

During the meeting, key provisions of COTPA-2003 were discussed, including the prohibition of smoking in public places, advertisement restrictions, sale restrictions to minors and around school premises, and regulation of trade and commerce related to tobacco products.

The DC emphasized on the active participation of all stakeholders in enforcing COTPA-2003 and raising awareness among the general public, particularly the youth, about the hazardous effects of tobacco use.

Speaking during the meeting, the DC instructed the officers to establish Tehsil Level Enforcement Squads, to be led by the Tehsildar with members including Station House Officer, Block Medical Officer, Zonal Education Officer, Block Development Officer and Food Inspector. These squads will conduct bi-monthly surprise inspections of shopkeepers and other retail units to ensure compliance with all legal regulations related to licensing and tobacco sales.

Furthermore, Minga Sherpa directed the stakeholders to conduct a comprehensive awareness campaign in schools targeting the age group of 14 to 18 years with an aim to educate them about the detrimental effects of smoking and consuming tobacco in any form.

Additionally, the DC also directed the officers to enforce stringent measures prohibiting the sale of tobacco within a 200-meter radius of school premises and penalize any violators severely under the ambit of law.

The meeting was attended by Chief Planning officer, Javaid Ahmad; Chief Education Officer, Balbir Singh Raina; Chief Medical Officer, Sales Taxes Officer Baramulla, Executive Officer Baramulla MC, Medical Superintendent GMC and police officers.

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