KATHMANDU: In an effort to demonstrating their commitment to better public health, the Nepal Police, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) and government hospital administrations, will expand a ban on sales and consumption of tobacco products within 300 feet areas of the hospitals.
Initiated by the Nepal Police and supported by the KMC and the respective hospital administration, the hospitals of the city will be made an entirely tobacco-free zone from this month.
The joint meeting of the Metropolitan Police Range, KMC and hospital administrations held on Friday agreed to enforce the ban.
Metropolitan Police Range (parisar) has been preparing to launch a campaign to control the use of tobacco items, under the Community-Police Partnership Programme. The meeting was held to make the campaign successful.
During the meeting, the head of bodies have agreed to enforce the ban at 10 government hospitals of the KMC at the first phase.
The ban will be enforce at Bir Hospital, Tribibhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH), Kanti Bal Hospital, Police Hospital, Army Hospital, Maternity Hospital Thapathali, Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, Ayurbeda Hospital, Sahid Gangalal National Heart Center, Tilganga Eye Hospital, and Civil Hospital.
The officials informed that at the beginning, a public awareness campaign will be conducted for 15 days within the 300 feet areas of these hospitals.
On the 16th day, the ban will be strictly implemented and anyone breaching the law is liable to punishment, including a fine.
During the meeting, chiefs of 10 government hospitals, officials of Ministry of Health and Population, chief of Kathmandu Public Health Division, Metropolitan Police Division, head of police circle and chairperson of respective wards expressed their commitment to make the campaign successful.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of KPR Basanta Kumar Lama said tobacco use in and around hospital pose many health and safety risk.
Considering this fact, the Metropolitan Police Division has initiated the drive. In the first phase, the ban will be enforced at around 10 government hospitals and the ban will be gradually enforced at private hospitals as well.
Lama said they need a support from the public to make this drive a success.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Rajendra Prasad Pokharel , chief of community police division said the ban on sales and consumption of tobacco products, as per the Tobacco Products ( Control and Regulatory) Act-2011.
Chairperson of SAARC Federation of Oncologist and senior cancer specialist, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Baral said the Nepal Cancer Relief Society had earlier urged the government to enforce ban on tobacco products. But their pledges remain largely ignored, he added.
The act bars selling and consumption of tobacco in public places. As per the law, anyone breaching the law is liable to a fine of Rs. 100 to Rs.100, 000 depending on the nature of the offence. However, the law remains largely unimplemented.
According to the government’s data, annually around 16,000 people die from tobacco consumption in Nepal.
According to the government’s data, 30,000 people die annually from tobacco consumption in Nepal.
Similarly, the report published by World Health Organisation (WHO) on March, 2018 shows that tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing more than 7 million people a year.
The report further shows the horrific fact that of the total death, around 890,000 death are the result of non-smoker being exposed to passive smoking. (Photo Credit: Lex Lmbu)
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