Jammu and Kashmir News
Education Minister Naeem Akhtar has assured Tobacco free educational Institutions in Jammu and Kashmir and will direct officials to follow COTPA act in letter and spirit.
Naeem AKhtar said that fresh orders will be issues soon, directing the officials of the department to comply with the COTPA Act, 2003. The Minister made this assurance during a formal meet with a delegation from Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI) that called on Akhtar in Srinagar.
“To save the youth from the negative health effects of tobacco and to support the genuine cause, we will be issuing relevant orders to make all the educational institutions tobacco free,” said the Minister. He added that all the officials will be directed to observe COTPA Act seriously and ensure that a follow up mechanism is put in place to ensure strict adherence to the act.
As per Section 6 of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act, 2003, there is a ban on the sale of Tobacco to and by minors. Also, the sale of Tobacco products is prohibited in an area within a radius of 100 yards of any educational institutions. A mandatory signage in this regard should be displayed prominently near the main gate and on the boundary wall of the school and Institution.
Notably, Principal Secretary, Education, Government of Jammu and Kashmir has already instructed all the Chief Education Officer’s in the state to report COTPA violations for strengthening institutionalization of the mechanism and to forward the details on monthly basis to the Deputy Commissioners including the Superintendents of Police in the districts.