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28 Jan 2017

Darjeeling becomes officially smoke-free

Prashant Acharya, EOI, SILIGURI, 27 Jan 2017: Darjeeling has become the first tobacco smoke free district in the state.
Coinciding with the 68th Republic Day celebrations, Darjeeling District Magistrate Anurag Srivastava, Darjeeling Police Superintendent Amit Javalagi and several other officials gathered at Chowarasta on Thursday for a programme organised by MANT, an NGO working with the district administration, to mark the announcement of the district being declared tobacco smoke-free.
Regular tobacco smoke free enforcement drives, especially in Kurseong and Siliguri, have been conducted, which resulted in a visible impact, with more than 80 per cent of public places becoming tobacco smoke free in the four sub-divisions of the district.
Srivastava said the enforcement drives will continue to ensure Darjeeling district remains smoke free.
Niranjay Mukherjee, Director of MANT and Head of Tobacco Control, said a study revealed various places in Darjeeling district showed 80 per cent compliance to Section 4 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003.
Smoking has been banned in various public places in Darjeeling district and they include railway stations, bus and taxi stands among others. Individuals found smoking in proscribed areas will be levied a fine of Rs200.
A jurisdiction is declared smoke free if the public places of the same are 80 per cent compliant to Section 4 of COTPA, 2003, and its subsequent rules.

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