Himachal Pradesh: Sale of Tobacco Products Now Illegal
By A Correspondent
Himachal Pradesh government has made the storage, sale or distribution of Tobacco products including Gutka, Pan Masala, Masheri, Khaini, illegal and such food products.
If stored, or being manufactured or sold in the state, will invite action under the provisions of Food Safety and Standards Act,2006.
Government on Friday made it clear that such food business operators should neither be registered nor issued a license for the same. It may be added that Himachal Pradesh is one of the first few State in the country to have made sale, distribution of these items illegal in the country.
Himachal Pradesh had already banned the smoking at the public places in the State for which defaulters are liable to pay the fine. State government has been conducting various surveys to monitor tobacco use from time to time.
The government has conducted three surveys in last three years for compliance of smoke free rules. So far 42,591 persons were fined in the state for smoking in public places during last three years and a fine of Rs 55 lakh was collected from them and 137 cases were referred to the courts. The funds collected are being used for anti-tobacco activities in the State.
State has increased tax on tobacco products to reduce consumption of tobacco as a mandate of WHO Tobacco control policies. Also, anti- tobacco campaign is underway jointly by Health, Police and Education Department, NGOs and PRIs to ensure ban on sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions and effective ban will likely be ensured by Gandhi Jayanti this year.
Tashijong village in Kangra district has been declared as first Tobacco free village in the country.
[Source: South Asian Media Network]