Maharashtra government bans sale of loose cigarettes and beedis, traders condemn move
The Maharashtra government has banned the sale of loose cigarette and beedis. The consumers will now have to buy the whole packet of these items. The reason cited is these single stick loose cigarettes or beedis do not have the specific health warning on it which is in the public interest. 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.