BHUBANESWAR: Jagatsinghpur has become the first district to be declared ‘smoke-free’ by pledging strict enforcement of the Tobacco Control Act across the towns and blocks of the region and sanitising all its offices, public places, educational institutions and other facilities of tobacco use.
The declaration was made on the basis of efforts undertaken by the district administration in association with the Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI)-Aparajita over the last one and a half years.
As many as 700 public places, workplaces, Government and private offices across the district headquarters town, urban areas and blocks have been provided with ‘No Smoking’ signages with strict enforcement of anti-tobacco laws. The public place and workplace managers have been provided with receipts and challans for enforcing laws and penalising violators.
The educational institutions have also been instructed by the district administration to comply with the stipulations under the law while principals and teachers are being sensitised to ensure that their institutions are tobacco-free. Steps are being taken to prohibit sale of tobacco products in the vicinity of educational institutions.
Making the announcement at a function at Jagatsinghpur on Saturday, Collector NC Jena said enforcement squads had been formed to monitor compliance and take action against violators. The administration will take more proactive steps to ensure that there is more awareness among the people and the Tobacco Control Act is implemented successfully.
A State-level social science institute will be entrusted with the responsibility to conduct an end-line study to assess the level of compliance and enforcement of laws in the district, senior manager, VHAI-Aparajita, Itishree Kanungo said.