Srinagar police books tourist for smoking in public place

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Srinagar: From now, if people are caught smoking in open spaces particularly in public places, the city police are likely to book them under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act. The measure is being taken to curb smoking in public places, police said on Sunday.

Srinagar police on Saturday evening booked a female tourist for smoking in a public place in Srinagar.

Station House Officer Sajjad Asad confirmed to a local news agency, KDC that a female tourist (name withheld) was booked under relevant sections of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (COPTA) Act for violating the ban on smoking in public places.

He said “Smoking in public places has been banned by the government under Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products (COPTA) Act. Sale of cigarettes within 100 yards of educational institutions is already prohibited.”

Although a ban on smoking in public places was introduced more than a decade ago, there have been complaints that the law was not enforced strictly and shops continued to sell tobacco products within a 100-yard radius of school premises. While city police claimed that they conduct periodical checks for smoking in public, an unnamed officer told KDC that there have been specific instruction from higher authorities to enforce the law strictly.

So, smoking in a place where people visit is an offense, said the Police officer. The police officer added that except for the designated smoking zones, smoking is banned everywhere in Srinagar district, including public toilets. “The only place where non-smokers cannot complain is after entering a designated smoking zone,” he said. (KDC)

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