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'No Smoking up to 21 years'; Centre prepares bill to raise legal age of smoking

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The penalty for smoking at restricted areas is being increased from Rs 200 to Rs 2,000.

New Delhi: The Centre has decided to raise the age for allowing sale of cigarettes and tobacco products to 21 years from the current 18 years, says an IANS report . An amendment to the existing law the 'Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003' has been prepared piloted by the Union Health Ministry, says the report.

The new drafted bill 'Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Amendment Bill, 2020' proposes that, "No person shall sell, offer for sale, or permit sale of, cigarette or any other tobacco product - (a) to or by any person who is under twenty-one years of age, and in an area within a radius of one hundred meters of any educational institution."

Section 7 of previous Act is being amended to say, "Provided that the trade and commerce in cigarette or any other tobacco product shall be in sealed, intact and original packaging." It also adds a provision, "No person shall, directly or indirectly, produce, supply or distribute cigarettes or any other tobacco products unless every package of cigarettes or any other tobacco products produced, supplied or distributed by him is having minimum quantity as may be prescribed."

Contravention of this Section 7 will lead to imprisonment of two years or fine going up to Rs 1 lakh and second conviction leading to prison for 5 years or fine going up to Rs 5 lakh.

The bill also has a provision for coming down on manufacture and sale of illicit cigarettes and tobacco products. Sale of illicit products will lead to punishment of imprisonment of 1 year and a fine of Rs 50,000 and a second conviction of imprisonment of 2 years and Rs 1 lakh. The fine on manufacture of illicit cigarettes is imprisonment of 2 years and fine of Rs 1 lakh.

The penalty for smoking at restricted areas is being increased from Rs 200 to Rs 2,000, says the report.

The amendment on advertising says, "No person shall directly or indirectly advertise cigarettes or any other tobacco products through any medium and no person shall take part in any advertisement that directly or indirectly promote the use or consumption of cigarettes or any other tobacco products."

According to the report, In the Preamble, after the words "…..take concerted action to eventually eliminate all direct and indirect advertising, promotion and sponsorship concerning tobacco" the words, "AND WHEREAS, India is a signatory to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control 9WHO FCTC) adopted in Geneva, Switzerland on 21st day of May, 2003 which came into force on the 27th day of February, 2005" will be inserted.

(From IANS with edits)

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TAGS:No Smoking New Bill Union Government India 
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