Grocery stores in Maharashtra can’t stock tobacco products
The aim of the January 9 notification is to reduce the exposure of tobacco products to children and teenagers, thus reducing its consumption.mumbai Updated: Jan 24, 2018 21:29 IST
Grocery stores in Maharashtra can’t sell tobacco products, according to a recent circular issued by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).
The aim of the January 9 notification is to reduce the exposure of tobacco products to children and teenagers, thus reducing its consumption. Pallavi Darade, commissioner, FDA, Maharashtra, said the notification was issued after the ministry for health and welfare warned about an increase in consumption of tobacco products through grocery shops visited by children and teenagers.
“Even those who aren’t addicted to tobacco products start buying them with other products such as chocolates, candies or cold drinks at such shops. In the initial phase, we will issue notices to general stores or shops selling FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods). If they continue to sell these products, we will initiate a stringent action against them,” said Darade.
Dr Ranjit Patil, minister of state (home), met Darade along with several leading oncologists and anti-tobacco campaigners on Wednesday, asking the FDA to start a crackdown on sale of tobacco products within a 100-yard radius of educational institutions. The FDA is expected to start punitive action against those who break the law from February 6.
“Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 prevents sale of tobacco around educational institutions, but we have noticed the law is rarely followed. We will launch a toll-free number, where residents can register complaints about such shops. We will meet district officials every week to check the development of this initiative,” Dr Patil said.
In a recent crackdown, FDA officials prevented 2,700 litres of adulterated milk from entering the city. Pallavi Darade, FDA commissioner, said, “We checked 127 vehicles that were transporting milk. Eight suspicious samples were sent to the laboratory for testing. Across the state, 742 such samples have been collected and sent to laboratory for further testing.”