The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) of 2003, prohibits people from smoking in public. Despite this, people still smoke in public, breaking that rule. Soon Indore will be launching a mobile app that will help them crack down on violators.
With the mobile app, anyone will be able to lodge a complaint against someone smoking and send a picture of the person smoking to authorities via the mobile app. The administration is working hard to dramatically decrease and even eliminate smoking all together. This new reporting app is just one of the many actions being taken.
A nodal officer for COTPA, SDM Sandeep Soni, provides presentations on COTPA in an effort to help the public understand the Act, as well as the need for such an Act. According to Akash Tripathi, who is part of the effort to stop offenders, stated, “We will also take help of religious leaders in educating people about ill effects of consumption of tobacco and smoking.”
The Indore administration is also launching a full-scale campaign to educate people about the negative effects of smoking, second hand smoke, and the provisions of COTPA, so they can avoid violating them.
The administration is also sponsoring, as part of this campaign, essay contests, poster contests, slogan contests and debates in the local schools. They are hoping to educate kids earlier, while also getting them involved in the overall campaign.
Tripathi also explained, “COPTA will be implemented in interest of people and initially we would inform them about the provisions of law. However, we will not hesitate to take stringent action against offenders who breach the law.” This willingness to take action is what led to the development of the mobile app. Punishments will be served for those who are caught breaking the public smoking laws.
Notices of the ban will be liberally posted in public places and fines will be imposed on those found smoking in restricted areas. Organizations are urged to take responsibility for making sure their members comply with the smoking laws.
There will also be actions taken to stop the sale of tobacco products to minors, as well as the sale of tobacco products within 300 meters of all schools.