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Bihar government bans sale of loose cigarettes

Published on February 14, 2018
The Bihar government has banned the sale of loose cigarettes in the state. A notification to this effect was issued by state health department's special secretary Lokesh Kumar Singh, who is also the executive director of the State Health Society.
Bihar government bans sale of loose cigarettes
  • Copies of the notification have been sent to the DMs, SSPs and SPs concerned to act as per the Tobacco Control Act under which anyone selling loose cigarettes would be liable for fine. 
  • The Socio-Economic and Educational Development Society (SEEDS), which is engaged in anti-tobacco movement in the state, has hailed the ban. 
  • This would prevent adolescents and youths from smoking. 
  • According to a National Survey, 53.55% adults in Bihar use tobacco products and 9% of them are smokers. 
  • Around 12 lakh tobacco-related deaths occur in the country every year. 
  • This decision aims to be deterrent to kids and youngsters who start smoking by buying loose cigarettes. 
  • In this regard, state health department has issued notification under Section 20 of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003. 
  • Bihar is the 12th state in the country to bring such a ban into effect after Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Delhi and others. 

Key facts

  • As per Section 7 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003, pictorial warnings regarding the harmful effects of consumption of tobacco products should be mentioned on the packets of tobacco products. 
  • Section 20 of COTPA, 2003, already states that sale, distribution, purchase, display and advertisement of tobacco products without the essential pictorial warnings make a punishable offence. 
  • As the loose cigarettes don't have the pictorial warnings, thus its sale, distribution, purchase, display and advertisement under COTPA, 2003, is banned. 
  • All district magistrate, district tobacco control co-ordination committee, superintendent of police, are directed to ensure implementation of the same and make raiding teams for strict enforcement. 
  • As per Global Adults Tobacco Survey (GATS), 53.5 per cent adults consume tobacco in one or other form in Bihar while 9 per cent of this 53.5 per cent are addicted to cigarette. 
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