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Stringent anti-smoking norms on anvil: Nadda

Brushing aside opposition, the government on Tuesday moved to amend the anti-smoking law and proposed radical changes, including ban on sale of loose cigarettes and raising the minimum age of a person buying tobacco products to 21 years from existing 18.

It has also proposed raising of fine to Rs 1,000 from Rs 200 on smoking in public places as well as recommending removal of designated smoking zones in hotels and restaurants.

These are some of the major recommendations in the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) (Amendment) Bill 2015, which were put out by the health ministry on to seek suggestions from the public.

The bill puts to rest speculation about the fate of a panel’s recommendations, which had covered most of these issues, as there were reports that the health ministry had developed cold feet following outcry from lobbies representing farmers and tobacco industry.

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