Maharashtra bans sale of loose Cigarettes and Beedis

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KEY STORY

  • Maharashtra government has banned the sale of unpackaged “loose” cigarettes and beedis, making it the first Indian state to so. The move is aimed at ensuring that customers see the graphic, public health warnings mandated on cigarette packaging.
  •  The State government has issued a notification in this regard, in the public interest. This has been issued under subsection (2) of section 7 of the cigarette and other Tobacco Products (prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and commerce Production, supply and Distribution) Act, 2OO3 (Act No. 34 of 2OO3).
  • However, this has not gone well with both the consumers and the traders.
  • “Not everyone can afford to but the whole packet, our sales will decrease,” said a vendor who has a shop in Parel.
  • Sayed Mehboob who is regular smoker said that such warnings hardly deter him. “Regular smokers will smoke irrespective of any warning,” said Sayed. “The state government’s move may even backfire as those who smoke one daily will be tempted to smoke more if he/she is given the full packet,” he added.
  • Many have called it a gimmick saying that the state does not have the mechanism to check the traders and it was just an eyewash.
  • Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, cancer surgeon at the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai told the paper the move would likely impact youth aged 16-17, who do not have the financial resources to buy full packets of cigarette or beedis, but “fuel India’s tobacco epidemic” and grown-ups who bought loose cigarettes and “never felt the pinch of higher taxes imposed on tobacco goods.”
  • “Studies have shown that a 10 percent rise in taxes results in an 8 percent drop in the number of smokers. But if people are allowed to buy a single cigarette, they do not feel the effect of higher taxes,” he noted.
  • Maharashtra has the lowest smoking rate in the country, data from the Global Tobacco Youth Survey 2016 showed.
CONCLUSION
  • Maharashtra government has banned Cigarettes and Beedis because Smoking has been linked to cancers and heart disease. However, when the bidi or cigarette is sold loosely, the consumer does not understand the seriousness of the hazard.
  • The state government has informed that the order was issued to stop the youth from addiction. The government has also directed the police and the municipal corporations to enforce the order strictly and as soon as possible.

  • United diagnosticss

    United diagnosticss

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