Udayavni Special

Why Maharashtra Government has banned the sale of loose cigarettes, beedis in the state?

Team Udayavani, Sep 29, 2020, 3:20 PM IST

The Maharashtra Government has decided to ban the loose sales of cigarettes and beedis in the State.

As per a notification issued by the state public health department, the state has imposed “complete ban on the sale of single stick loose cigarette and beedis”

The decision is in sync with sub-section (2) of section 7 of Cigarette and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce Production, Supply & Distribution) Act, 2003

Why did the state ban the sale of loose cigarettes?

The move is aimed at ensuring that customers see the graphic, public health warnings mandated on cigarette packaging. These single stick loose cigarettes or beedis do not have the specific health warning on it which is in the public interest.

As reported by Indian Express, Under COTPA, tobacco products need to be sold with graphic health warnings on their packaging and loose cigarettes do not comply with this rule. Section 7 of the Act mentions, “ No person shall, directly or indirectly, produce, supply or distribute 6 cigarettes or any other tobacco products unless every package of cigarettes or any other tobacco products produced, supplied or distributed by him bears thereon, or on its label 1 [such specified warning including a pictorial warning as may be prescribed.]”

However, this has not gone well with both the consumers and the traders. They claim that not everyone can afford to buy the entire pack, which will in turn reduce the sales

Also, The loose cigarettes contribute 70–80 per cent to cigarette volumes across various states. Maharashtra is among the large states in terms of cigarette consumption.

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