As per an official, the Uttar Pradesh government has fined a total of 2,250 people and collected Rs 1,98,096 during 2016-17 for using tobacco products in public places. The reports revealed that the government fined 12,444 people and collected Rs 14,28,261 between April 2013 and March 2017 for violating Section 4 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA, 2003), by smoking in public places.
Notably, the section 4 of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce Production, Supply and Distribution) Act COTPA 2003 forbids smoking in all public places. In addition to laws relating to tobacco, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath recently banned the consumption of ‘gutka’ and ‘pan masala’ in all government offices, educational institutions and hospitals in Uttar Pradesh.
COTPA was enacted in 2003 and is applicable in the entire country. It was mainly brought into action to discourage the consumption of cigarettes and other tobacco products by imposing progressive restrictions and to protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke.
“Uttar Pradesh has demonstrated tremendous commitment towards safeguarding the health of people of the state from second-hand smoke. This praise-worthy step will go a long way in saving lakhs of lives”, said J.P. Sharma, Executive Director, Vinoba Seva Ashram, an NGO working for tobacco-free society.