The Gujarat Assembly on Wednesday unanimously passed a bill to ban manufacture, sale, import and advertisement of electronic cigarettes in the state, along with two other bills.
The Bill, presented by Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja, proposes to amend The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act or COTPA while banning production, supply and distribution of e-cigarettes.
Tabling the amendment Bill, Jadeja said the state government was committed to keeping the youth away from addiction of various kinds whether it is alcohol or tobacco in any form. He added that a new form of addiction is available in the market in the form of e-cigarettes, which is injurious to health as it contains harmful ingredients like nicotine that causes cancer. Violation of the ban would attract a maximum jail term of three years, but not less than one year, said Jadeja, adding offenders are also liable to pay a fine of up to Rs 50,000, but not less than Rs 20,000.
The second Bill passed by the Assembly is pertaining to amend The Gujarat Prevention of Begging Bill. Under the amendment, the provisions in the Act regarding separating beggars suffering froma leprosy in the Beggars’ Home to an asylum have been deleted. Introducing the Bill, Social Justice & Empowerment minister Ishvar Parmar called the provisions as ‘obsolete’ when leprosy is no more an infectious or incurable disease after administration of first dose of Multi-Drug-Theory (MDT).
The third Bill passed by the Assembly proposes to amend Indian Partnership Act while, significantly increasing the fees being levied on partnership firms for registration, inspection and modification of its documents to be paid to the Registrar of Firms.