COTPA: Much needed amend­ments

Governance Now - - BUTT SERIOUSLY - • • • • • • • • • •

In Jan­uary 2015, the health min­istry re­leased the draft of the COTPA Amend­ment Bill in the pub­lic do­main. Com­ments and views from stake­hold­ers along with gen­eral pub­lic were sub­mit­ted by Fe­bru­ary 15, 2015. Af­ter that, there hasn’t been any progress so far. Some of the prom­i­nent amend­ments pro­posed are:

• A clause that pro­vides for pro­tec­tion of pub­lic health poli­cies with re­spect to tobacco con­trol from the com­mer­cial and other vested in­ter­ests of the tobacco in­dus­try

• To do away with pro­vi­sions of ‘des­ig­nated smok­ing area’ (like in­ter­na­tional air­ports) which in­vite ex­emp­tion

Con­trol the mush­room­ing of hookah bars and com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion of hookah tobacco ‘Pro­hi­bi­tion of smok­ing in pub­lic places’ to be re­placed with ‘pro­hi­bi­tion of tobacco use in pub­lic place’

Pro­hibit tobacco ad­ver­tise­ments at point of sale and in/on pack­ages of tobacco prod­ucts • Ex­tend pro­hi­bi­tion on ad­ver­tise­ment, pro­mo­tion and spon­sor­ship of tobacco prod­ucts to medi­ums like films, in­ter­net, mo­biles, etc.

• Ex­tend pro­hi­bi­tion on brand shar­ing or brand stretch­ing of tobacco brands and trade­marks All means of tobacco use, whether by adding ad­di­tives or through sale of any im­i­ta­tion prod­ucts, should be dis­cour­aged

• Need to plug the real or po­ten­tial mis­use of the cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity (CSR) ac­tiv­i­ties by tobacco com­pa­nies to in­di­rectly pro­mote or ad­ver­tise tobacco prod­ucts • In­crease the min­i­mum le­gal age for sale of tobacco prod­ucts from 18 years to 21 years Pro­hibit sale of cig­a­rettes or beedis in loose (sin­gle sticks) and other tobacco prod­ucts in small pouches in­stead of in­tact pack­ages Pro­hibit em­ploy­ment, en­gage­ment or use of chil­dren be­low 18 years of age in the cul­ti­va­tion, pro­cess­ing and sale of tobacco or tobacco prod­ucts

Dis­play ni­co­tine and tar con­tent with max­i­mum per­mis­si­ble limit on tobacco prod­uct pack­ages

Dis­clo­sure of in­for­ma­tion on con­stituents and emis­sions to the gov­ern­ment by man­u­fac­tur­ers or pro­duc­ers

Des­ig­na­tion of spe­cial courts to en­sure ef­fec­tive im­ple­men­ta­tion of COTPA

Penalty for sell­ing tobacco prod­ucts within 100 yards from ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tutes should be en­hanced from ex­ist­ing ₹200 • Sus­pen­sion or can­cel­la­tion of the li­cence of the man­u­fac­turer, im­porter, sup­plier, dis­trib­u­tor or seller in case of vi­o­la­tion

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