Senior custodians of health across the state have heaped praises on Kerala Police for their role in preventive health by tightening enforcement of the tobacco control law–COTPA, 2003–that is aimed at protecting public from the many harms of tobacco use.
COTPA violations check by Kerala Police for the May-July 2014 quarter has gone up by 64 per cent compared to the same period last year, a release said in Thiruvananthapuram today Dr Ramdas Pisharody, Principal, Trivandrum Medical College, congratulating the Trivandrum City Police for making the college area smoke-free said, ‘This concerted effort by the police force to safeguard the lives of thousands who visit the hospital every day by enforcing COTPA is very laudable.
‘Owing to high literacy levels and penetration of mass media in Kerala, awareness that smoking and tobacco use is harmful to health is very high among our people. Yet, people continue to smoke away causing harm not only to their health but also of others.
‘Tough enforcement of laws together with counselling by doctors is the need of the hour to arrest the preventable damage to public health from tobacco use.’ The Trivandrum City Police, as a part of the collective exercise led by the District Administration to make the district model COTPA compliant, recently declared the Medical College police circle smoke free.
Ernakulam and Kozhikode districts are also in the fray to become model COTPA compliant. Police have strengthened efforts and have fined/challaned 26,797 persons during May-July 2014, as per Kerala Police website. Fine amount collected from COTPA violators have also increased by 115 per cent in the same period from Rs 2,270,950 in 2013, it rose to Rs 4,877,550 in 2014.
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