Faridabad , During December 2017 the Faridabad Police cracked down on smoking in public places by fining a record 2338 people violating COTPA (The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003) in Faridabad. This was done in 2 drives during the month of December ordered by the Commissioner of Police, Dr. Hanif Qureshi.
The Faridabad Police Commissioner had launched the campaign to enforce COTPA about a year back. Since then all the 19 police stations of Faridabad had been sensitized and trained with help of Sambandh Health Foundation. This campaign is supported by Fortis Foundation in Haryana. Many awareness drives were conducted as well as low-level challaning has been done in this year. Total number of COTPA violations in the last one year is 3163. Police Commissioner, Dr Hanif Qureshi observed that the purpose of enforcement is not to fine violators, it is to ensure that there is compliance of the law. The people who use tobacco in public endanger those who do not, especially children. For the better health of the people of Faridabad strict enforcement of COTPA is necessary. Sanjay Seth, Trustee, Sambandh Health Foundation presented memento to Dr Hanif Qureshi for the leadership in this campaign. Balabgarh city, Saran West, Sarai Khwaja Police stations which did exceptionally well were also acknowledged.
COTPA (The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003) prohibits smoking in public places, direct/indirect advertising, sale to/by minors, sale within 100 yards of schools and mandates pictorial warnings on all tobacco packs. The Commissioner of Police, added that in spite of adequate warnings the violations were continuing and we decided on conducting drives. These have been successful and much appreciated by citizens and parents of Faridabad. He stated that we will now continue such drives to make it Tobacco Free Faridabad as a model district.
Dr Somil Rastogi, of Sambandh Health Foundation who is in charge of the Fortis Foundation–Sambandh Tobacco Free Haryana Campaign said that 19.7% of people in Haryana smoke, either bidi or cigarettes, but the health of the other 80.3% is impacted. 10% of the estimated 28,000 people who die every year in Haryana due to smoking have never smoked themselves.
The intensive campaigning by Faridabad Police has been well received by the citizens. H. S. Malik, Chairman of FMS School in Sector 31 said Police are doing a great job as tobacco vendors outside schools entice children to try tobacco products making them addicts and destroying their lives. Only the Police can stop these vendors.
Anil Behl, President of the Rotary Club of Faridabad Midtown said that such campaigns will protect non-users and make for a healthier Faridabad. The Rotary fully supports this campaign and our members will be involved in creating awareness about COTPA in Faridabad. We will also distribute No smoking signages in the city.