In an effort to effectively implement the recently enacted “Assam Health (Prohibition Of Manufacturing, Advertisement, Trade, Storage, Distribution, Sale and Consumption of Zarda, Guthka, Panmasala etc. containing Tobacco and/or Nicotine) Act, 2013,” the Deputy Secretary of the state Health and Family Welfare Department has issued a notification to the Director General of Assam Police, all Deputy Commissioners of Assam and Police supers of all districts of the state informing the concerned authorities that the said act has come into force from February 20, 2014.
Other bodies/authorities/departments who have been informed about the same are Commissioner of Taxes (Assam), the Legal Remembrancer (Assam), Mission Director-NRHM (Assam), Principal Secretary-Finance Dept. (Assam), The Principal Secretary (Home & Political Dept.-Assam), Board of Revenue/Chairman-Assam Administrative Tribunal, CEO-Food Safety & Standard Authority of India, PS to Parliamentary Secretary (Health & FW Dept.)-Assam, PS to Health & Welfare Minister (Assam), Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister (Assam), the Commissioner & Secretary (to the Governor of Assam) and the Secretary to the Government of India (Ministry of Health & FW).
The notification further requested the DIPR to widely publicise the above piece of information. This has been done in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 1(3) of the above mentioned Act.
The Act, if implemented efficiently, is expected to control tobacco related health issues in the state, which coincidentally has a very high rate of tobacco consumption and an alarming rate of tobacco related oral cancer cases.