Features of COTPA Act

Features of COTPA Act

Question:-Cigarettes and other forms of tobacco contains the harmful drug such as Nicotine which is injurious to health. To combat with this issue, the government has introduced the COTPA act. Explain the main features of the COTPA Act.

There are around 275 million smokers in India. Approximately half of the people die in the middle age (35 – 69 years) due to the ill effects of smoking. Tobacco also has a huge damage on the health of the people of India. Around 900000 people in India are killed in a year due to the effects of tobacco use.

India has a population of around 1 billion, of which there are around 275 million tobacco users at present. To combat with the issue of increasing cigarette and tobacco users, the Government of India has initiated certain measures.

- COTPA Act – The Cigarette and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce Production, Supply and Distribution) Act was enacted in 2003 to prohibit the advertisement and regulation of tobacco business in India.

- Features of COTPA Act

- Prohibition of smoking - The Act prohibits the smoking of cigarettes or tobaccos in public places except in the special smoking zones such as hotels, restaurants etc. Smoking is restricted in places such as hospitals, movie theaters, public transport, courts, educational institutions etc.

- Prohibition of advertisements - The portrayal of advertisements related to tobacco products or cigarettes is prohibited. The act states that no person should participate or promote the tobacco product advertisements. No person has the right to sell the visuals of such advertisement or distribute the pamphlets or documents related to these products.

- Excluded people - As per the act, the tobacco products should not be sold to people who are below 18 years of age.

- Depicting Warnings - The Act forces a pictorial warning depiction on the outer pack of all the tobacco products. Similarly, the cigarette packs should also contain a pictorial warning. Apart from pictorial depiction, the packs should also contain the texts such as Smoking kills or Smoking is injurious to health. (both in English and Hindi)

- Right to search - The act gives the power to any police officer who is not below the rank of a sub-inspector can search any premises where the tobacco products are produced or sold.

- Punishment for manufacturing tobacco - A person who manufactures tobacco products without the warnings on packages shall be punished up to 2 years in imprisonment or with a fine of Rs 5000. If he is convicted for the second time, he would be punished up to 5 years in imprisonment or with a fine of Rs 10,000.

- Imposing fine - A fine of Rs 200 is imposed on people for smoking in public place or selling the tobacco products to minors.

- Punishment to advertisers - The act also takes into account the people who advertise tobacco products. On first conviction, the person can be punished with a 2 years imprisonment or with a fine of Rs 1000. If convicted again for the second time, for the same reason, he shall be punished up to 5 years in imprisonment or with a fine of Rs 5000.

- Facts and Figures

- More than 70% of the cigarettes are sold loose in India.

- Around 9 lakhs of people are killed due to use of tobacco every year. This may increase to around 1.5 million by 2020.

- 30% of the 15 years or above population either smoke or chew tobacco. Out of which 47% are men and 14% are women.

- Sunita Tomar, is the face of anti tobacco drive in India.

- There are around 1.1 billion tobacco users in the world.

- Nearly 80% of the world’s one billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries.
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