New Delhi: Delhi Government has written to various tobacco companies asking them to remove advertisement boards from shops and warned them against free distribution of boards or counters having tobacco ads among vendors.
“We have written to various tobacco companies asking them to remove advertisement boards from tobacco shops and other places. We have also asked them not to distribute boards or counters having tobacco advertisements as free gifts to vendors to check violations under Section 5 of the COTPA, 2003,” said Additional Director (Health) S K Arora.
Section 5 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003 prohibits direct and indirect advertisements of tobacco products including at point of sale.
The Health Department had also written to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation requesting it to remove such advertisements from trains and stations following which it issued a circular to various advertisement agencies and also removed some ads.
“We have also written to the central government, DIP/DAVP and Advertisement Standard Council of India to stop surrogate advertisements of few tobacco brands which are happening on radio, TV, newspapers, etc. in the name of pan masala and mouth-fresheners, etc.,” said Arora.
On February 28, the department had undertaken a massive awareness and enforcement drive in the city during which 60 shops were raided, 31 vendors were challaned and court proceedings were initiated against 12 repeat offenders.
“As part of the drive, several ads were removed from shops and other parts of the city and challans of amount Rs 9,500 were issued to vendors for violations of rule.
“Around 450 people including tobacco vendors and general public were sensitised on tobacco related issues. Also, vendors were strictly warned against display of such tobacco products,” said Arora.
Tobacco vendors were also given the sample of mandatory board which says that selling of tobacco products to persons below the 18 years of age is a punishable offence.