Sale of loose cigarettes in India could be banned and the minimum age for selling tobacco products raised as the Health Ministry has moved a proposal to the Cabinet to this effect.
Health Minister J P Nadda told Rajya Sabha today that the ministry has accepted this recommendation of an expert panel, which it had constituted to give suggestions for reducing tobacco consumption, and circulated a Cabinet note for inter-ministerial consultations over the issue.
“The expert panel has recommended prohibition on sale of loose or single stick of cigarette, increasing the minimum legal age for sale of tobacco products… The ministry has accepted the recommendations of the committee,” he told the Upper House in a written reply to a question.
The ministry’s move is in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s framework convention on tobacco control which states that countries “shall endeavour” to prohibit such sales as it makes them more affordable for minors. India is a signatory to the convention.