Adopt licensing system to protect younger generation from tobacco: Consumer Voice

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Chandigarh

20 June 2021

DIVYA AZAD

To curb the usage of tobacco among children and younger generation Consumer Voice along with parents are urging the government for strict implementation of tobacco control law and adoption  vendor licensing  in the state of Haryana.

As per Mr. Ashim Sanyal, Chief Operating Officer, Consumer VOICE In our Tiny Targets study we found a total of 885 points of sale were identified to be selling tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions that violate COTPA law. In Haryana, 98.28% of points of sale displayed cigarettes near candies and sweets to attract children. Vendors sell cigarettes and bidis via single sticks, making these products cheap and accessible to children and youth. Selling of such products outside of educational institutes attracts the younger generation to get addicted. Licensing system will surely curtail the tobacco consumption.

India has the second largest number (268 million) of tobacco users in the world and of these 13 lakhs die every year from tobacco related diseases. Nearly 27% of all cancers in India are due to tobacco. Section 6 of The Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA) bans sale of tobacco to and by minors and prohibits the sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions.

Mr Sanyal said, Vendor licensing authorizes a business to engage in tangible retail sales of tobacco from a shop, sidewalk stand, a pushcart, a shop or a motor vehicle. These will be registered with municipalities and adhere to COTPA Regulations. Municipal bodies should ensure a licensing mechanism for vendors to restrict the sale and advertising of tobacco products and protect children and youth.

He added, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, had issued advisories to all States/UTs/ Urban Local Bodies for ensuring a licensing mechanism for tobacco vendors with a restriction on the sale of candy, chips, etc.

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