CHANDIGARH: The Haryana government has decided to ban sale of loose cigarettes in the state. The State Health Department and Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) Haryana are framing state-specific guidelines for implementing the ban.
The nodal officer of Haryana state tobacco control programme has initiated the process to discuss the agenda with state-level monitoring committee that is expected to meet in January.
According to sources, the tobacco control office had proposed identification of the authority to challan and prosecute violators. Besides, the government has also plans of bringing tobacco sellers under vending licence system for complete implementation of the said ban.
Sources said the nodal office had proposed to authorize all gazetted officers to challan and prosecute offenders under the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA).
“Selling loose cigarettes is violation of COTPA, 2003, as well as the Legal Metrology Act, which provides for packaging related rules.
Can anyone sell chips in loose packets after taking them out from a Rs 20-packet? Similarly, you cannot sell loose cigarette,” Dr Yash Pal Momia, nodal officer whose team is working towards this direction, said.
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Section 7 of COTPA provides that 85% of the area of product be covered with statutory warning.
This is not found on cigarette packs, hence, selling loose cigarettes is violation of both acts, Momia added. According to information, Haryana will apparently be first such state to re-enforce ban on loose cigarettes after banning e-cigarettes in the state.
In October this year, Haryana had banned e-cigarettes by bring nicotine in the category of poison that is covered under the Punjab Poison Act.