PATNA: In a fresh crackdown on the sale of tobacco to minors, the Patna district administration has directed the SDOs and BDOs to conduct regular inspection of the areas in 100-metre radius of educational institutions to make such institutions tobacco-free zones.
“We will conduct several drives to ensure that people found selling or smoking tobacco at public places are fined. The drive will especially target those selling tobacco to minors,” Patna DM Kumar Ravi said on Friday and added the administration has also asked the Patna Municipal Corporation to remove the hoardings and banners of tobacco products from the city.
The DM has also directed the SDOs and BDOs to impose a fine of Rs 200 on those found smoking tobacco products at any public place. He has also asked the Patna civil surgeon to ensure removal of tobacco-selling establishments from the vicinity of healthcare facilities.
According to Patna civil surgeon Pramod Jha, his office has been conducting drives since 2013 to ensure that establishments selling tobacco products do not come up near hospitals.
The DM issued these directives at a meeting with the SDOs, BDOs and members of Socio-Economic and Educational Development Society (SEEDS) on Friday afternoon. The SEEDS is an organisation working against tobacco use in collaboration with the state government.
SEEDS executive director Deepak Mishra said apart from the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003, the state government should enforce the Juvenile Justice Act which is applicable to people offering or selling tobacco products to minors.
“Under Section 77 of the amended Act, a person giving tobacco products or any other narcotic or alcoholic product to a minor is liable for imprisonment up to seven years. S/he may also be fined up to Rs 1 lakh,” Mishra said.