“Model for police enforcement of “The Cigarette And Other Tobacco Product Act” (COTPA)
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Sambandh Health Foundation, Gurugram, Haryana, India
Publication date: 2021-09-02
Corresponding author
Pramod Kumar   

Sambandh Health Foundation, Gurugram, Haryana, India
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A142
COTPA enforcement is inadequate across the country and during 2013-17 only 10154 people had been fined for COTPA violations in Delhi. Police, the main enforcing agency under COTPA, had taken very little action as their priorities are crime and law & order. The major challenge was to engage the Police officials for COTPA enforcement. Sambandh Health Foundation team took up the challenge to involve the police officials in enforcing the Act and institutionalizing it.

Our Main objective to protect 82.2% of non smoker from deadly tobacco by using effective enforcement model on public place. In Delhi 17.8% (25 Lac) of adult population (15+ years) consumes tobacco in some or the other form. Nearly 14.6% of the youth (13-15 years) consume tobacco in some form or other (Global Youth Tobacco Survey - 2009). Also we have to reduce initiation of tobacco. now Every day more than 80 children in Delhi initiate tobacco consumption.

The steps taken to activate the police step1: sensitization and advocacy with the top most officials of Police. Step2: District-wise Training and police station-wise hands-on training on COTPA and how to enforce step3: monitoring and motivating police.

This approach is a sustainable model of enforcement. Before the intervention, Delhi police had done 796 challans (fines) - during FY 2016-17. After SHF team intervened the number of fines rapidly went up to 30334 during FY 2017-2018, 49693 in FY 2018-2019 and 41286 in FY 2019-2020 September 2019. In Delhi I found more than 90% People fined for smoking on public place, which was the main cause for passive smoking in Delhi.

It was difficult to get attention of police officials on regular basis but proper sensitization led to putting COTPA enforcement on police’s priority. Proper enforcement of COTPA leads to reduced prevalence of tobacco use and saves lives.