Govt Jobseekers Have to Submit Affidavit for non-consumption of Tobacco Anywhere

JHARKHAND: The state government has asked the job seekers to submit an affidavit stating that they would not consume tobacco products which will be made effective since April next year. The decision was taken after meeting with the state tobacco control coordination committee in the capital.

“The committee has decided that from April 2021, anybody getting employment in Jharkhand’s government sector would have to submit an affidavit against consuming tobacco products not only in office but also outside,” the state’s nodal officer for the national tobacco control programme, L.R. Pathak, says.

The meeting was chaired by Sukhdev Singh, the chief secretary agreed to ensure the compliance with the law in place in the state – Cigarettes and other Tobacco products Act (COTPA) 2003. This act was passed in the parliament to prohibit the advertisement of tobacco products in India and mandates the regulation of their production, supply, and distribution as well as trade and commerce etc.

Since April 2020, the Jharkhand government has already banned the sale and use of all forms of tobacco — including cigarettes, beedis, pan masala, areca nuts, khaini and zarda — fearing their users’ tendency to spit would spread the coronavirus.

“The state personnel department has been asked to frame the rules at the earliest so that the decision can be executed while filling vacancies from April next year.”

The deputy commissioners of the state’s 24 districts have been directed to ensure strict checking at all entry points from Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and Bihar with the help of the commercial tax department. All tobacco products being brought in for commercial purposes will be confiscated at these checkpoints.

The Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2017 (GATS 2) shows that nearly 38.9 per cent adults in Jharkhand use tobacco in some form, said Deepak K. Mishra, executive director of the non-profit Socio Economic and Educational Development Society (Seeds) and member of the state tobacco control programme.