MARGAO: South Goa police stations have booked 6,186 cases for the first six months of this year under the Goa Prohibition of Smoking and Spitting Act. In the year 2017 a total number of 2,782 cases were booked while in 2016 South Goa police stations had booked 1480 cases.
It is pertinent to note that for the first six months of the year 2018 the highest number of cases were booked by the following police stations, Ponda 1373, followed by 1363 by Vasco railway police, 943 Margao, 453 by Vasco, 404 by Colva, 318 by Fatorda and 311 by Canacona.
In the year 2017 for the first eight months till August south Goa police had booked 1,337 cases under Goa Prohibition of Smoking and Spitting Act. The highest number of cases was booked by the Margao police – 355, followed by 180 by Curchorem police, 111 by Canacona police and 60 cases by Sanguem police.
Fifty-two cases were booked by Maina-Curtorim police, 97 by Quepem police, 60 by Vasco police while Ponda and Collem police stations booked 77 and 32 cases respectively. Remaining police stations in comparison booked less number of cases.
The police said the cases were booked at hospital buildings, health centres, bar and restaurants, eateries, hotel lounges, waiting lounges, public offices, bus stands, ferryboats, gardens, beaches, railway stations and so on.
Police claimed that the Act was implemented with a lot of enthusiasm which resulted in drastic reduction of smoking in South Goa.
In 2011 in entire South Goa police jurisdiction, 1,106 cases were booked while in 2012, 1,646 cases were booked; in 2013, 1,889 cases were booked; in 2014, 2,255 cases were booked while in the year 2015 South Goa police booked 2,722 cases and in the year 2016, the number reduced to 1,481.
Out of the 1,481 cases, maximum 398 cases were booked by Margao police followed by 270 cases by Vasco railway police, 209 cases by Quepem police while 215 cases by Curchorem police, 141 cases by Canacona police, 77 cases by Ponda police, 50 cases by Collem police, 59 cases by Vasco police, 68 by Sanguem police and remaining by other police stations.
Goa Board of Secondary and Higher secondary education had issued a circular to all schools to educate children about the ill-effects of smoking however the anti-smoking talks have not brought in the desired results, said Ulhas Kerker a social worker.
He said that the misuse of tobacco is more prevalent in the working class particularly the migrant class and daily wage workers working on road sites.
He said that there is a fear among the people that death rate due to tobacco consumption is rising every year and the use of tobacco causes serious health problem. He said that agencies such as police and social services clubs should come forward with schemes to keep check on the tobacco consumption. “Rules alone will not help to curb the use of tobacco. What is required is awareness among the general people that tobacco misuse is dangerous for health,” he felt.