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Kerala

Kerala Police strengthens COTPA enforcement    

Thursday, Mar 30, 2017,18:38 IST By anju A A A

Thiruvananthapuram | Kerala Police has booked 5.3 lakh people under the Indian tobacco control law–COTPA– in the last four years, bringing in a revenue of over Rs 10.6 crore to the state exchequer.
   
Records made available in the official website of the Kerala Police show that there has been a steady increase in the numbers of persons fined over a four year period from 2013-2016.

From 63,513 in 2013, the numbers have risen to 2.05 lakh in 2016, under various sections of COTPA. The highest number of persons have been fined for smoking in public places, which constitutes a violation of Section 4 of COTPA, 2003.

Action under this section alone has yielded Rs 4.17 crore in 2016, a press release said.
 
In 2014, Kerala was declared India’s first tobacco advertisement free state.That this prized distinction is being sustained is reflected in the numbers of cases booked under Section 5 of the Act, it said.

From 3,860 cases in 2013, the numbers have fallen to a mere 37 in 2016, the release said.

Section 5 of COTPA prohibits all forms of tobacco advertisements, promotions and sponsorships.
 
The numbers, however, indicate a worrisome nearly 80 per cent growth in the sale of tobacco products to and by minors, which is prohibited under Section 6 (a) of COTPA, it said.
From 358 cases in 2013, it has risen to 642 in 2016.
 
Section 6 (b) of the Act prohibits sale of tobacco products in an area within a radius of 100 yards of an educational institution.This section, again, has seen an increase ine number of cases from 1,258 in 2013 to 3,065 in 2016.
 
Kerala Police is vigilant in curbing any sale of tobacco products without the mandated 85 per cent pictorial warnings.

In 2016, 328 such cases were charged.

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