Central Government may increase Legal Smoking Age To 21

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New Delhi, 6/1 (AO Bureau): The Central Government has prepared a bill for raising the age for allowing the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products to 21 years from the current 18 years. The government has drafted the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply, and Distribution) Amendment Act, 2020.

The provision for raising the age was brought in by the Union Health Ministry. The bill seeks to amend further the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply, and Distribution) Act, 2003.

The amendments in the bill state that,  “No person shall sell, offer for sale, or permit the sale of, cigarette or any other tobacco product – (a) to or by any person who is under twenty-one years of age, and in an area within a radius of one hundred meters of any educational institution.”

Section 7 of the bill is amended to state,  “Provided that the trade and commerce in a cigarette or any other tobacco product shall be in sealed, intact and original packaging.” It also adds a provision, “No person shall, directly or indirectly, produce, supply or distribute cigarettes or any other tobacco products unless every package of cigarettes or any other tobacco products produced, supplied or distributed by him is having minimum quantity as may be prescribed.”

Violation of section 7 will lead to imprisonment of two years or a fine up to one lakh and a second violation will land you in jail for 5 years and a fine of up to 5 lakh ruppess.

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