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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

One oral cancer case a day! Goa mulls stubbing tobacco menace

Story: The | Goan | 12th October 2018, 02:40 Hrs

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COPTA TO BE ENFORCED
MORE AGGRESSIVELY

>> A decision to stringently enforce Section 4 and 6 of COPTA taken at the District Task Force for Tobacco Control meeting
>> Section 4 prohibits smoking in public places, while Section 6 prohibits sale of tobacco to and by minors and around educational institutions
>> Police force is required to enforce Section 4, while educational institutions are to get involved in the enforcement of Section 6
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PANAJI: With an average of one oral cancer case coming to light on a daily basis at the Goa Dental College in Bambolim, North Goa Collector Levinson Martins has insisted on enforcement of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COPTA) 2003, even more strongly.
The increasing number of cases of oral cancer coming to light was discussed at the District Task Force for Tobacco Control (DTFTC) meeting chaired by the Collector earlier this week. This is the first DTFTC meeting that has taken place after Martins took over as Collector.
Head of Department of Public Health Dentistry at Goa Dental College Dr Amita Kenkre Kamat informed that of the eight to nine people that are sent for tobacco counseling at the Goa Dental College daily, at least one is diagnosed with oral cancer. Dr Kamat also expressed regret that more people didn't voluntarily seek tobacco counseling.
"Unfortunately, it is only after the oral medicine department sends patients for tobacco counseling that oral cancer cases come to light," said Dr Kamat speaking to 'The Goan.'
At the meeting, the DTFTC decided to enforce Section 4 and 6 of COPTA even more stringently. Section 4 of COPTA prohibits smoking in public places, while Section 6 prohibits sale of tobacco to and by minors and prohibits sale around educational institutions.
While the police force is required to enforce Section 4, it is necessary for educational institutions to get involved in the enforcement of Section 6. At the meeting, the Collector also issued the schedule for the enforcement of Section 4 over the period of three months: from October to December, and joint-mamlatdars in all North Goa talukas are expected to oversee enforcement of the same, and issue challans to violators of Section 4.
The enforcement of Section 6 - where educational institutions need to make sure that there is no sale of tobacco within or outside 100 yards of campuses will be taken seriously. The Collector insisted on extensively sensitising school children, and has assured that tobacco sensitisation programmes will be funded under the Tobacco Control Programme.
Nodal officer for Tobacco Control at the North Goa District Hospital Dr Shaheen Sayed informed 'The Goan' that prohibition of tobacco use will also be enforced seriously with tourists and migrants in the state. Dr Sayed also stated that all products of tobacco are equally harmful and that the trend of chewable tobacco needs to be curbed. "Girls are increasingly using Dentobac thinking its not harmful because they don't smoke it. But it's equally harmful to health," said Dr Sayed.