State to ban sale of loose cigarettes, smokeless tobacco

State to ban sale of loose cigarettes, smokeless tobacco

The Karnataka government plans to clamp a ban on sale of smokeless tobacco and loose cigarettes.

The Department of Health & Family Welfare, in a Cabinet note, has sought approval to impose ban on manufacture, storage and sale of chewing tobacco. The Cabinet is likely to take a decision next week, sources said.

Following the request from the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, the State has decided to clamp a ban on sale of smokeless tobacco, sources said, adding the State has also decided to ban on sale of loose cigarettes following complaints of large number of school and college students are addicting to smoking.

No ban

However, the government clarified that there is no proposal to impose ban on sale of areca products, beedi and cigarette packs.

Karnataka Health Minister U T Kadar said the decision will not hit tobacco growers in Karnataka.

Tobacco produced in the State is of good quality and it is being sold in international market, he said.

Bihar and West Bengal has already banned sale of chewing tobacco, while 11 other states are likely to take similar decisions soon.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan earlier had requested Chief Ministers of all states to pass necessary order under the regulation of Food Safety & Standard Act, 2006, to implement the ban on all forms of processed/flavoured/ scented chewing tobacco.

9 Lakh deaths

The Union Health Ministry in 2010 said up to 9,00,000 Indians die every year of diseases related to tobacco use.

This could reach 1.5 million by 2020 unless immediate steps taken to curb users to drop the habit, the International Tobacco Control Project estimates.  

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