December 22, 2006, The Hindu
New Delhi

For educating children on the enforcement of Section 6 of tobacco control law.

Jaipur: A campaign on tobacco control initiatives, involving 50 schools here in the Rajasthan Capital, has been launched for educating children and youth on the enforcement of Section 6 of the country’s tobacco control law. The campaign, to be taken up by the CUTS Centre for Consumer Action, Research and Training (CUTS-CART) in both private and the Government schools, will be for a period of nine months.

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the World Health Organisation are partners in the campaign while the Rajasthan Department of Health is an active collaborator. The campaign comes in the wake of findings that Section 6 of the tobacco control law – the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 – is not being followed strictly.

Section 6 of the Act says that “no person shall sell, offer for sale, or permit sale of, cigarette or any other tobacco product: a) to any person who is under 18 years old, and b) In an area within a radius of one hundred yards of any educational institution.”

“The enforcement of the Act is very weak. All forms of tobacco are freely sold to children. They are used for sale of tobacco products and also used as carriers. There is a need to sensitise and educate the general public, especially those associated with the educational institutions,” said George Cheriyan, Associate Director of CUTS International. “Tobacco is the only legally available consumer product which can kill the consumer when used as directed. In addition, it is a violation of basic consumer rights – the right to safe product, the right to information, the right to compensation when injured and the right to healthy environment as per the UN guidelines,” he pointed out.