In a conference on ‘Tobacco Control’ organised by Health Department, Government of Karnataka at Bengaluru, Health and Family Welfare Minister Kaul Singh Thakur said that the State Government was making concerted efforts on tobacco control for which an institutional mechanism has been created.
He said that enforcement squad had also been notified in the State and prepared comprehensive guidelines for law enforcement.
Thakur shared the experiences of tobacco control initiatives and successes of Himachal Pradesh. He said that more than 3000 gram panchayats of the State had passed resolutions to participate in effective tobacco control campaign. Himachal was the first State in the country to ensure effective ban on advertisements of the tobacco products. He said that Education Department could also play an important role by motivating the school children to aware their parents about the ill effects of tobacco products.
Health Minister said that State Government had banned the sale, storage and distribution of Gutkha, Khaini etc. in the State. He said that all the educational institutions in the State were complied with provisions of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA) and they had displayed the signage’s to ban sale of tobacco within 100 yards. He said that Himachal had achieved the smoke free status and it was also first State in the country to ensure ban on sale of tobacco products without not carrying statutory warning on the packets.
Thakur said that Government will shortly impose a ban on the sale of loose cigarettes as the cigarettes and fine will be imposed on the violation. The Government was also mulling to enhance VAT on tobacco products, he added.
Earlier, Kaul Singh Thakur was welcomed by Health Minister of Karnataka U.T. Khader. He was also honoured on the occasion.
Health Minister also met Chief Minister of Karnataka Siddaramairah and Speaker of Karnataka Vidhan Sabha Kagodu Thimmappa and discussed various issues of mutual cooperation. He also met office bearers of Himachali Friends Association.