August 11, 2016 12:30:31 am
Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Harshdeep Kamble told a delegation of the Maharashtra Paan Vyapari Mahasangh and Dnyaneshwari Pratishthan that an anti-tobacco campaign had been launched to look into the issue of ‘fair price’ hoardings, promoting the sale of loose cigarettes across the city.
Pune Newsline had published a report ‘Across Pune, fair price hoardings promoting cigarette sales in shops’ on August 9. The report had said that the paan shop owners were upset over the manner in which the hoardings had been prominently set up, promoting the illegal sale of loose cigarettes.
“We met the FDA Commissioner and complained that tobacco manufacturers are threatening to sue us if we remove the hoardings,” Hemang Shah, technical advisor of the Maharashtra Paan Vyapari Mahasangh, told Pune Newsline. Shah, along with Rajabhau Pardeshi and Sharad More of Paan Vyapari Sangh, and Dr Sayalee Kulkarni and Dr Shubha Karandikar of Dnyaneshwari Pratishthan demanded that the hoardings be removed and urged FDA to take immediate action.
Dr Kulkarni said that the Dnyaneshwari Pratishthan was leading a tobacco-free campaign across Maharashtra and pointed out that Schedule 1 of the amended Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act banned direct or indirect sale of tobacco. “These hoardings not only mention the price of each cigarette but also give the brand names. It is obvious that the tobacco manufacturing companies want to sell loose cigarettes,” said Dr Kulkarni.
He added that the cigarette packets were yet to be covered with health pictorial warnings on 85% surface. “While FDA is conducting raids on imported brands, they also need to take action against manufacturers who have not adhered to rules,” said Dr Kulkarni.
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