Demand for tobacco vendor licensing

first_imgAfter the successful ban on e-cigarettes, a demand has been raised in Rajasthan for the enforcement of vendor licensing mechanism to control and regulate the sale of tobacco products. Licensing is expected to act as a major deterrent, which will especially reduce children’s access to cigarettes and other tobacco products.Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had announced a complete ban on production, distribution, advertisement and sale of e-cigarettes on May 30 last, a day before World No Tobacco Day. He said the ruling Congress had promised to take steps to curb smoking and addiction among the youths in its election manifesto and the decision would prove to be effective.Successful actionThe successful action for imposing ban on e-cigarettes, after a sustained campaign by voluntary groups, was highlighted at the 41st session of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva in June this year, with the emphasis on the rights of tribal children, among whom addiction starts at an early age.Experts and activists said here on Tuesday that the State government should frame rules under the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003, making it mandatory for shopkeepers to obtain licence to sell any type of tobacco products. As of now, the vendors violating the rules pay a petty fine and go back to selling tobacco.At an event organised against tobacco addiction, Sawai Man Singh Government Hospital’s head of oncology surgery Suresh Singh said the enforcement of laws putting restrictions on tobacco consumption would be easier with the licensing mechanism and those selling tobacco without a valid licence could be arrested.Dr. Singh said tobacco consumption was a major cause of oral cancer and the number of such patients coming to SMS Hospital had increased from 60 in 2016 to 122 in 2018 and 111 till August this year.Jayesh Joshi, secretary of Vaagdhara, a Banswara-based voluntary group working for tobacco control in the State, said licensing would automatically check the sale of tobacco products in and around educational institutions, hospitals and public places. He said the State government had authorised municipal bodies in 2018 to regulate the sale of tobacco products.The Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2016-17 has stated that 24.7 % of adults in Rajasthan were tobacco users.last_img

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