Himachal Pradesh becomes country’s first ‘smoke-free’ State
Himachal Pradesh has been declared the first “smoke-free” State in the country in compliance with Section 4 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003. The State has achieved 85.45% compliance with the relevant parameters. The State government intends to eliminate tobacco products and has hiked taxes on bidis and cigarettes from 11 and 18% to 22 and 36%, respectively in the 2013-14 Budget.
What is the scope COTPA 2003?
- The Act is applicable to all products containing tobacco in any form i.e. cigarettes, cigars, cheroots, bidis, gutka, pan masala (containing tobacco) khaini, mawa, mishri, snuff etc. as detailed in the Schedule to the Act.
- The Act extends to the whole of India including the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
What does Section 4 of COTPA provide for?
Section 4: Prohibition Of Smoking In Public Places
The Government of India passed new rules on May 30, 2008 for effective realization of the objectives of smoke free environments as stipulated under the Indian law.
- No person shall smoke in any public place
- “Public Place” means any place to which the public have access, whether as of right or not, and includes auditorium, hospital buildings, railway waiting room, amusement centres, restaurants, public offices, court buildings, work places, shopping malls, cinema halls, educational institutions, libraries, public conveyances and the like which are visited by general public but does not include any open space.
- Mandates display of board containing the warning “No Smoking Area- Smoking Here is an Offence”
- Hotels & Restaurants should ensure physical segregation of smoking and non-smoking area. Hotels having thirty rooms or a restaurant having seating capacity of thirty persons or more and in the airports, a separate provision for smoking area or space may be made.