The Union Government has drafted a Bill as the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply, and Distribution) Amendment Act, 2020 where it has recommended raising the legal age of smoking in India to 21 years.
Right now the legal age for smoking in India is 18 years but the Union Government has proposed through a Bill to raise the age to 21 years. The Union Government has also endeavored to improve the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply, and Distribution) Act, 2003.
As per the proposed amendment no person is allowed to sell or offer or authorize the sale of cigarette or any other tobacco product to or by any person who is under 21 years of age and in an area within a radius of 100 meters of any educational institution. The trade and commerce in a cigarette or any other tobacco product shall be in sealed, unimpaired, and original packaging. No person shall, directly or indirectly, produce, supply, or distribute cigarettes or any other tobacco products except every package of cigarettes or any other tobacco products produced, supplied or distributed by him is having minimum quantity as may be commanded.
The above mention rule comes under section 7 and if a person violates section 7 then it will lead to imprisonment of two years or a fine up to Rs 1 lakh, while a second conviction will result in a prison term of 5 years or a fine up to Rs 5 lakh. Even there will be a provision for chastening manufacture and sale of illicit cigarettes and tobacco products.
The sale of illicit products will lead to a punishment of imprisonment of 1 year and a fine of Rs 50,000 and the second punishment of imprisonment of 2 years and Rs 1 lakh. The fine for the manufacture of illicit cigarettes is imprisonment of 2 years and a fine of Rs 1 lakh. The penalty for smoking in restricted areas will be enhanced from Rs 200 to Rs 2,000.
As for advertisements on cigarette and other tobacco products, the amendment affirms: “No person shall directly or indirectly advertise cigarettes or any other tobacco products through any medium and no person shall take part in any advertisement that directly or indirectly promotes the use or consumption of cigarettes or any other tobacco products.”
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