The Maharashtra government has banned the sale of loose cigarettes and beedis, in a bid to reduce the consumption of tobacco and to comply with the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) (Act No. 34 of 2OO3).
The reason given for the ban is that cigarettes and beedis packs have graphic images warning about the health consequences of smoking. However, single sale of the cigarette and beedi sticks will not carry a warning, therefore in the public interest, such a ban has been imposed. The government’s aim is to make sure that users are able to see the mandated warnings on cigarette packaging.
However, this has not gone well with both the consumers and the traders.
“Not everyone can afford to buy the whole packet, our sales will decrease,” said a vendor who has a shop in Parel.
Habit or addiction generates much later, people first experiment, Youngsters try cigarettes after being influenced by their peers. Upon continued use, those who are vulnerable get hooked on to smoking. Research has shown that an increase in taxation and cost lead to decreased tobacco use,” he says, adding that such measures will affect the young users the most, thus curtailing the possibility of them getting addicted.