Following a recent ban on nicotine, the Chandigarh administration on Wednesday also imposed a ban on sale of loose cigarettes and other tobacco products.
According to a press release issued by the UT administration, the ban has been imposed under provisions of Section 7 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act-2003 (COTPA).
The Section 7 prohibits any trade in cigarettes or other tobacco products unless every package of cigarettes or any other tobacco products sold, supplied or distributed by him bears thereon, or on its label, the specified warning, including pictorial warning.
Nodal officer of the tobacco control programme, Chandigarh, Dr Deepak Bakshi said the step would also deter youngsters from buying tobacco products as buying packets of any tobacco product every time would not be easy.
"The seller of loose cigarettes or any other tobacco product will be proceeded as per the provisions of the Section 20 of the COTPA, as per which any manufacturer on of first conviction will be punishable with imprisonment for a term that may extend up to two years/or a fine upto Rs 5,000 or both and on subsequent instance, with a term of up to five years and fine up to rs 10,000 on subsequent conviction," he said.
Similarly, the seller on first conviction may be imprisoned for up to one year or a fine up to rs 1,000 or with both and on subsequent conviction, with an imprisonment up to two years and/or both.
Earlier on May 21, the UT administration had also imposed a complete ban on nicotine. The development took place on a public interest litigation filed by a local anti-tobacco NGO Burning Brain Society. In January, Punjab became the first state in the country to ban the sale of loose cigarettes and loose tobacco.
What COTPA says
Section 7 of the Act prohibits any trade in cigarettes or other tobacco products unless every package of cigarettes or any other tobacco products sold, supplied or distributed by him bears thereon, or on its label, the specified warning, including pictorial warning.
Figures that matter:
According to market research firm Euromonitor International India:
70% of cigarettes in the country are sold loose
10,000 crore cigarette sticks smoked during 2012
As per a Union health ministry-World Health Organisation (WHO)-supported study by the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI):
It is estimated that the total economic costs attributable to tobacco use from all diseases in India in 2011 amounted to Rs 1.04 lakh crore - 12% more than the combined state and central government expenditure on healthcare in the same year.
Cardiovascular diseases shared the highest burden (Rs 3,600 crore) of direct medical and indirect morbidity costs on account of tobacco use, followed by respiratory diseases (rs 2,800 crore), tuberculosis (rs 2,300 crore) and cancers (Rs 1,400 crore)