Here's what you need to know-
The Health Department of Maharashtra, issued a notification on Thursday that bans the sale of loose cigarettes and beedis in the state. This ban has come in the view that loose cigarettes do not inform the smoker of the consumption and health warning which are otherwise present on cigarette packets.
This notice of public interest has been issued under subsection (2) of section 7 of the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act 2003 (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and commerce Production, supply and Distribution).
Sale of Loose cigarettes and beedis banned!
About 85% of the cigarette packets contain a graphic warning about the health hazards that follow due to excessive consumption of tobacco, and this warning remains absent when consumers buy loose cigarettes. This has become the main reason behind the ban, which also extends to beedis.
Though met with strong criticism by the traders, an order has been passed regarding the same and all municipal corporations in the state have to now ensure that sale of loose units of cigarettes and beedis does not take place in regions under their jurisdiction. The traders are of the opinion that the ban may bring down their sales as well as backfire for the state; not everyone has the capacity to buy full packets and those, that in fact buy the entire packets, will have the urge to smoke more beedis or cigarettes than usual.
With Maharashtra showing the lowest smoking rate in the country as per the Global Tobacco Youth Survey 2016, it serves as the prototype base for implementing a move like such which can be later re-scaled on a national level as well. Mumbai holds an authority of influence over other metropolitan cities, which may resonate with similar bans.