The Central Government has prepared a draft bill to increase the age to allow consumption of cigarettes and tobacco products to 21 years. In an amendment drafted by the Central government of the Cigarettes & Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), the Union Health Ministry has sought to increase the legal age for smoking or consumption of tobacco products & cigarettes to 21 from the current age of 18. The draft bill also proposes to ban the sale of loose cigarettes.Also Read - Smoking in Trains: Railways Plans Severe Penalty After Delhi-Dehradun Shatabdi Express Fire
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. Also Read - Bizarre! 100-Year-Old Chinese Man Says a Lifetime of Smoking & Boozing is The Secret to His Long Life
The draft also adds a ban on designated smoking rooms at restaurants and airports, and increase penalties for flouting the rules at public places, as per reports. Also Read - Kangana Ranaut Reveals She Was a Chain Smoker at Age of 19, Says 'I Got Addicted While Woh Lamhe Shoot'
As per the amendment, “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 is being amended to say, “Provided that the trade and commerce in a cigarette or any other tobacco product shall be in sealed, intact and original packaging”. The government has also sought to increase the penalty for selling tobacco products to person under the legal smoking age from two years imprisonment and Rs 1,000 to seven years’ imprisonment and up to Rs 1 lakh fine.