The government of Punjab became the first state to ban the sales of loose cigarettes and tobacco in the state. On Tuesday, the government has issued a notification, banning the sales of loose cigarettes in the state as per Section 7 of the COTPA [Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products, Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution Act, 2003]. So from now on every package of cigarettes and tobacco carries specified warning including the pictorial one.
The Voluntary Health Association of India has welcomed the decision of Punjab government and requested other states to follow similar pattern in order to protect the health of people. The Association also asked the government of India to completely ban the sales of loose cigarettes in the country. In November, Union Health Ministry had accepted the recommendations of experts committee that was appointed to give valuable suggestion for restricting the tobacco usage in the country.
The panel suggested that sales of loose cigarettes should be banned and the age limit should be lifted from 18 years to 21 years.