Punjab government on Thursday banned the sale of flavoured tobacco and e-cigarettes with immediate effect throughout the state.
Notifications were issued in this regard, an official statement said here.
At a state-level coordination committee meeting here, Punjab health secretary, Health, Punjab Government, Hussan Lal reviewed implementation of measures taken to control tobacco and said these measures have been taken as "various firms were bypassing Tobacco Control Act by selling flavoured and scented tobacco in the state".
He said the state government had received feedback that there was increase in sale of e-cigarettes, and now, as the ban was in force, even "e-commerce companies can be booked".
Lal said nicotine in chemical form in e-cigarettes has been prohibited and all districts have been issued advisory to strictly implement the directions.
Expressing concern over sale of cigarettes near educational institutions, especially colleges and coaching institutes, Lal directed all deputy commissioners and education department officials to strictly impose the ban on sale of tobacco within 200 metres of educational institutions and said any violations would be dealt with strictly.
Seeking cooperation of deputy commissioners in banning cigarettes in loose form, Lal said its sale has been banned by the Centre to discourage habit formation among teenagers and it was imperative for the DCs to enforce the ban.
He asked DCs to seek help of NGOs to strictly impose Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) and enforce ban on smoking in public places.
He also asked police authorities to launch state-wide ban and enforce COTPA, saying that "Punjab has to emerge as smoke-free state in next three months."
Expressing concern over increasing addiction to tobacco and tobacco products, Lal said 12 per cent population of Punjab consumes tobacco and this has to be checked strictly.