Govt Proposes Ban on Loose Cigarettes To Be Imposed and Legal Age To Be Increased for Smoking

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A draft has been prepared by the Central Government which proposes to increase the legal age for consumption of cigarettes and tobacco products to 21 years from the current legal age which is 18 years.

The draft bill also proposes a ban on the sale of loose cigarettes, a ban on designated smoking rooms at restaurants and airports, and an increase in the penalties for flouting the rules at public places.

The draft which has been prepared by the Government is the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply, and Distribution) Amendment Act, 2020.

The proposed amendment under section 6 of the draft reads as,

“No person shall sell, offer for sale, or permit the sale of, cigarette or any other tobacco product – (a) to or by any person who is under twenty-one years of age, and in an area within a radius of one hundred meters of any educational institution.”

The government also ought to impose a ban on the sale of loose cigarettes. The amendment under section 7 of the act states,

“Provided that the trade and commerce in a cigarette or any other tobacco product shall be in sealed, intact, and original packaging.”

The penalty for selling tobacco products to a person under the legal smoking age has also been increased from two years of imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs. 1000/- to the imprisonment of up to seven years and a fine up to Rs. 1 lakh.

A sale of illicit cigarettes and tobacco products will lead to imprisonment of up to 1 year and a fine of Rs. 50,000/- according to the proposed judgment.

Another fine of illicit manufacturing of the cigarettes is introduced in the amendment with imprisonment up to two years and fine of up to 1 lakh and a fine of smoking in the restricted areas will also be increased from Rs. 200/- to Rs. 2000/- as per the amendment.


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