Software for better implementation of COTPA launched
‘Smoking is injurious to health’ often have we heard this saying but still there are a section of people who ignores the saying and finally end up becoming victim of different forms of cancer. Meanwhile, there are also laws to curb smoking but proper implementation of the law has been one of the greatest challenges. Making the best use of the available technology and working towards this line, Karnataka Home Department in association with State Health and Family Welfare Department with the help of National Informatics Centre (NIC) Karnataka State Unit has developed state of the art software to monitor COTPA implementation by various departments throughout the State.
Among other States in the country, though Karnataka has been in the forefront for implementation of Cigarettes and Other tobacco products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003, popularly known as COTPA, yet technical glitches had been a major problem for its smooth implementation. Section 4 of COTPA also bans smoking in all public places, which include hotels, restaurants, pubs, workplaces, shopping malls, cinema Halls, educational institutions, libraries, hospitals among others and requires mandatory ‘No-smoking’ signage to be put up, but its implementation and accountability had been a major issue.
Until date, several departments across the districts in Karnataka had implemented COTPA in their own jurisdiction and the reports were all scattered, there was no clarity and accountability, hence the software is developed to have a centralized reporting system for implementation of COTPA. This initiative aims to institutionalize reporting and review mechanisms and encourage interlinking among the various departments working on tobacco control in the state. This in turn would help in protecting the people from tobacco use and related cancers.
Explaining about the working of the software Dr U.S Vishal Rao, Head & Neck Oncologist and Member of High Power Committee for Tobacco Control, Government of Karnataka said: “Every month the DC and the SP of each district will have to update on the software as to what they have done in terms of tobacco control activities and this report will be reviewed every month by High Power Committee for Tobacco Control, Government of Karnataka and updated accordingly in the new software.”
With this software all the scattered effort especially at the district level will be brought under collectively. It will form as a platform to help focus and also boost the existing effort. Karnataka is the first State in the country to implement the usage of new software to enhance better implementation of COTPA, further added Dr Vishal.