The Commissionerate of Transport in Assam has issued instructions to all District Transport Officers (DTOs) to strictly enforce anti-tobacco laws in the public transport system of the state.

In the first of its kind initiative from the Transport Department to tackle the menace of tobacco, Commissioner of Transport J Balaji though a letter dated June 18 requested all DTOs to take necessary steps for making public places like bus stands, parking places, all public conveyances, halting places, including Transport offices as No Smoking Area/Zone.

The letter from the Commissioner Transport also asked the DTOs to take necessary action against the violators as per the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Product Act (COTPA), 2003.

The Commissioner directed the DTOs to launch a campaign to create awareness among drivers/handyman/vehicle operators against the use of smoking or non-smoking tobacco.

Balaji through the letter also directed the DTOs to submit action taken report in this regard to the Commissioner’s office on a regular basis.

The letter was issued in reference to the discussion on COTPA implementation that had taken place at a meeting of all DTOs and held at the office of the Commissioner Transport on June 8 when the Tobacco Control team of Voluntary Health Association of Assam had presented a power point presentation on the role of the Transport Department officials on implementation of COTPA.