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Ensure tobacco-free atmosphere in schools, urges Education dept

Kolkata: In a bid to ensure a tobacco-free atmosphere in all the schools across the state, the Education department has directed the District Inspector of schools to take necessary actions so that nobody uses any form of tobacco in the entire school campus including its canteen and hostels.
The directions issued by the joint secretary of the School Education Department have been forwarded to all concerned officials including the District Magistrates and the Municipal Commissioner of Kolkata Municipal Corporation.
The directions further state that there should be a display of "no smoking area" signage at prominent places in the educational institutions as smoking in public place is strictly prohibited under Section 4 of cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act 2003.
It also clearly states that steps should be taken to ensure that no tobacco products are sold or offered in the school premises. It empowers the head of the institution to impose a fine of Rs 200 on a person who uses/sells tobacco products within the premise of an educational institution.
According to the direction, a board may be displayed at a conspicuous place outside the premises prominently stating that sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products in an area within a radius of one hundred yards of the institution is strictly prohibited and that it is an offence punishable with fine that may extend to Rs 200.
"The distance of one hundred yards shall be measured radically starting from the outer limit of the boundary wall, fence or as the case may be of the institution," a senior official of the department said.
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