Bokaro: Chas Municipal Corporation (CMC) banned the sale of tobacco in shops that sell chocolates, chips and other FMCG products. The shop or establishments caught selling both tobacco and FMCG products would face stringent action, including cancellation of their licence, up to six months imprisonment and a fine up to rupees one lakhs, informed JP Yadav, Executive Engineer CMC.
Following the advisory issued by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which said tobacco shopkeepers should stop selling non-tobacco FMCG items like toffee, candy, chips, biscuits, and soft drinks we are on move for its strict implementations, he said.
Tobacco should be sold exclusive of FMCG products so that children are not exposed to them. Children could get influenced by tobacco products when they go to buy chips or chocolates, said Yadav.
“We will conduct special drive to ensure proper implementation of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA),” he added.
Shops selling cigarettes and tobacco in the city are now displaying signboards saying minors will not be sold tobacco products. The move comes close on the heels of raids conducted to ensure proper implementation of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA), said an official.
Notably, tobacco along with FMGC products is on rampant sale (in the same premises) on over 3000 shops across Chas and Bokaro Steel City township area.
Recently team of the health department, narcotics, disaster management, district administration and police department officials conducted raids in several shops in Sector 4 and Nayamore for selling tobacco products. The owners of the shops were slapped with a fine of Rs 200 each, informed an official.
We raided various shops, hotels, bars and restaurants; it fined 12 shopkeepers found selling cigarettes and tobacco products in violation of the COTPA norms. Beside shops, two youths were also slapped with a fine (Rs 200 each) for smoking in the public place, he said.
The officials were also asked to book those found smoking in public places in accordance with Section 21 of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003.
Health department officials said instructions were given to shops to put out warnings on the health hazards due to tobacco products. They were also asked to put out advertisements saying that they do not sell tobacco products for those below 18 years.
Section 4 of the Act prohibits smoking in public places and section 6 prohibits the selling of tobacco products within a radius of 100 metres of educational institutions and also prohibits the selling of tobacco products to minors, said the official.
Raids are now being conducted occasionally but in the coming days, the frequency would increase. Those who are found violating norms will be fined Rs 200 and if the person is a regular offender, a FIR will be lodged.
“In case of smoking in public places, the offender as well as, the person in-charge of the place would be fined”, added the official.