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Health experts hail Police's anti-tobacco drive

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Health experts hail Polices anti-tobacco drive
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Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Police's tight enforcement of the tobacco control law-- the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (prevention) Act, 2003, aimed at protecting and creating awareness among the public from ill-effects of tobacco use, has garnered praise from senior health experts.

The state police fined or issued challans to 26,797 persons during May-July 2014 for COTPA violation against 16,363 challans the same period last year, the release added.

Ramdas Pisharody, Principal, Trivandrum Medical College, congratulated police for making the Medical College campus smoke-free.

"This concerted effort by police force to safeguard the lives of thousands who visit the hospital every day by enforcing COTPA is very laudable. Tough enforcement of laws together with counselling by doctors is the need of the hour to arrest the preventable damage to public health from tobacco use," he said.

Thiruvananthapuram City Police, as a part of the collective exercise led by the district administration to make the district a role model for COTPA compliance, recently declared the Medical College police circle smoke free.

Ernakulam and Kozhikode districts are also in the fray to become a model for COTPA compliance.

Multi-stakeholder efforts in these two districts are led by the district collectors with active support from the police and other enforcement agencies, the release said.

VP Gangadharan, a pioneer medical oncologist, said tobacco induced oral cancers is on the rise in the state.

"Youngsters are increasingly developing an affinity for tobacco products, which are a definitive causative factor for mouth and throat cancers," he said.

Dr MN Krishnan, Head of the Department of Cardiology, Government Medical College, Kozhikode, said the fine collected by police and other enforcement agencies shouldbe used for tobacco control measures.

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