Cigarette Enthusiasts Warn: The Central Government has drafted amendments to the Tobacco Control Act (COTPA) -2003, which governs cigarettes and other tobacco products. This includes a 10-fold increase in cigarette smoking fines. For example, if you are caught smoking in a public place, you will be fined Rs 2,000 instead of Rs 200. Not only that, the provision of separate smoking zones in places like hotels, restaurants and airports has been repealed, including raising the minimum age for buying and selling tobacco from 18 to 21 years.
An amended bill is to be introduced in this budget session of Parliament.
The revised draft of the Quota Act provides for compulsory licensing of vendors selling tobacco products by the concerned organization.
There will be no promotion or display for tobacco sales. The promotion of tobacco products through the internet or social media will also be banned altogether.
The organizations have supported the amendment to the quota law and demanded that it be introduced in Parliament as soon as possible. The central government has also set a target of becoming tobacco-free by 2030.
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