ਖੇਡ ਸਮਾਚਾਰ

Complete ban on sale of tobacco spices with tobacco in Punjab

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Chandigarh: Taking notice of illegal sale of Pan Masala with chewing flavored tobacco in the state, Anurag Agarwal, Principal Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare, has been involved in the sale of illegal tobacco sales. Instructions have been issued to the partner departments.

Anurag Agarwal said this while presiding over a meeting of the State Level Coordination Committee in a committee room located in the Punjab Civil Secretariat II to prevent the use of tobacco in the state and to ensure compliance with the laws against tobacco. Given that some growers sell flavored chewing tobacco in separate packets with paan masala (no tobacco), it has been observed that sometimes the same vendor John is deliberately sold them jointly, to purchase Flavored chewing tobacco with the customer instance. He said that the sale of such substances is strictly prohibited in Punjab and strict action would be taken against the violators under the anti-tobacco laws.

He said that the Punjab Government has distributed Gutka / Pan Masala (nicotine or tobacco), processed / flavored / fragrant chewing tobacco and tobacco or nicotine additives in any of the named products and packs or pockets, without sale. Provision, storage, sale and distribution is prohibited in Punjab.

He instructed the partner departments to expedite the sale of liquor spices including tobacco from the shopkeepers and also issued rules for violating the Food Safety and Standard (Prohibition and Restoration on Sales) laws against the violators. He said that if any such goods were illegally stocked or sold at any place, orders had been issued to the Food Commissioner regarding cancellation of the seller’s license. He also asked to submit a report of the action taken in this regard at the next state level meeting of the Coordination Committee.

About 54 samples of tobacco and spices have been taken from January 2019 to August 2019 and 20 samples have not been found to fit the criteria, ACO, Food and Drug Administrator Amit Josi said at the meeting. He said that the matter was being addressed by the ADC. The proceedings are under process in the courts. He also assured the meeting that the Food Safety Department would launch a vices campaign across the state to collect samples and that violators would be prosecuted for illegal tobacco possession.

Anurag Aggarwal said that warning of smoking on cigarette packet with cigarette cancer is also a crime to sell without mentioning in 85 per cent. He directed the excise department to take strict action against the violators involved in the illegal sale of imported cigarette packets and flavored / scented tobacco products.

State Program Officer of the National Tobacco Control Program Dr. Nirlap Kaur informed the meeting that Punjab had banned the sale of e-cigarettes in the state. He said that instructions have been issued to the water level committees regarding e-cigarette lodging and selling of liquor shops and keeping them under the supervision of health authorities. He also said that since the amendment of Kotapa, 2003 (Punjab Amendment Act, 2018), hookah bars have been permanently banned in the state and action against marriage palaces, hotels and restaurants in violation of anti-tobacco laws. There is already a thorough checking of the state for this.

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