The health ministry of India wants to strengthen the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COPTA) with a ban on the sale of loose cigarettes.
The aim is to better align national law with the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control guidelines. The proposal also includes heavier fines for violators of smoking restrictions. Currently, the penalty for smoking in restricted areas is up to INR200 ($2.81).
The ministry had proposed a number of amendments to the 2003 legislation and put the draft COTPA Amendment Bill in the public domain in 2015. However, the draft was withdrawn in 2017 for reevaluation.
The earlier draft proposed increasing the fine amount to INR1,000, doing away with on-site advertising of tobacco products and removing designated smoking areas from hotels, restaurants and airports.
Category: Breaking News