Under Secretary to the Department of Health and Family Welfare Karnataka state on Wednesday issued a notification banning loose sale of cigarettes, beedis and chewing tobacco products with immediate effect. No roadside tea shop owner/ Pan vendor can henceforth sell loose cigarettes from now on.
The blanket ban on smoking in public places has cut down on number of smokers considerably, but with loose cigarettes available the smoker’s continued to puff it away.
Banning loose sales of tobacco products prompts people to buy them in larger quantities and it would pinch their pockets.
The notification reads – loose sale of cigarettes, beedis and all forms of chewable tobacco has been banned with immediate effect as per the provisions under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade, Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act 2003 (COTPA) “Any person found violating the provisions of the act and order will be punished as per the provisions under the section 20 of the COTPA Act.
Persons violating the ban are liable for punishment under Section 20 to COTPA, which stipulates imprisonment up to one year or with fine up to ₹1,000 or both in the case of first conviction. A repeat offence stipulates imprisonment up to two years and fine up to ₹3,000.