BHUBANESWAR: With no strong enforcement measures in place, ban on sale of tobacco and narcotic products near educational institutions in the State remains a non-starter. As per the provisions of COTPA -2003, no person shall sell, offer for sale or permit sale of cigarettes or any other tobacco products to any person below 18 years age within 100 yards of any educational institutions.
The State Government had also banned manufacture, storage, sale and distribution of gutkha and pan masala containing tobacco and nicotine in 2013. As per the order of School and Mass Education (S&ME) department in July this year schools in Odisha will be considered as ‘Tobacco Free Institutions ‘ and smoking or consuming tobacco products will invite penalty.
The measures, however, have remained on papers as the sale and consumption of tobacco and nicotine products continue unabated in the State. The Odisha Parents’ Association has demanded action against Gutkha firms and shops selling banned products openly near educational institutions, public and workplaces. No substantial measures have been taken by the State Government yet to address the issue. OHRC has asked the Home Secretary as well as Police Commissioner to furnish their report on the matter before December 18.