In a bid to control the usage of tobacco as smoking and chewing at public places, the health department has challaned 8,077 offenders under ‘Cigarettes & Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003’ in the state and collected the amount of Rs. 480,965 as fine during month of April, May and July 2017.
Disclosing this here today, Health and Family Welfare Minister Brahm Mohindra said that state government has also issued order to all the district authorities to take strict action against the offenders, who smoke or spit the chewing tobacco, supari, paan-masala at public places under Section 268 and 269 of Indian Penal Code. "Direct and indirect use of tobacco is equally harmful for humans and animals and it is subject of serious concern which is directly linked with health of people”, he added.
Giving details regarding affect of tobacco, Health Minister said that each cigarette contains more than 4000 substances, of which 40 substances are most hazardous known to cause heart diseases, damaging blood vessel walls, increasing the tendency of blood platelets to clot and contributing to heart attacks in smokers and people or animals around them. "It is pertinent to mention that about 12.5 lakh Indians annually died due to tobacco use, which is more than AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. This figure will increase to ten million by 2020 that means one death in every three second would be happened because of tobacco use”, said Mohindra.
He further added that using any kind smokeless tobacco at public places is also a major public health hazard, which spread the communicable diseases likewise Tuberculosis (TB), Swine Flu, Avian Flu, Pneumonia and oral cancer. He said that as per record of health department, approximately 90 percent of people with mouth cancer in the country are tobacco users.
The Minister further said that as per survey conducted by WHO, usage of chewing tobacco and smoking at public places affected the sanitation and public health at large scale. He said that Section 269, in the Indian Penal Code also prohibits any negligent act that is likely to spread infection concerning disease to life. He said that concerned departments have been ordered to take strict action under various act regarding violation of using tobacco at public places to control the death causalities.