Soon, you can’t buy single cigarette. Government may take BIG decision before budget session | Economy News
There is more bad news for smokers. The government may soon ban the sale of loose cigarettes. The Standing Committee of Parliament has recommended a ban on selling single cigarettes to curb the use of tobacco products, as per various reports. The Standing Committee of Parliament argued that the sale of loose cigarettes is affecting the tobacco control campaign. The committee also recommended doing away with the smoking zone from all airports in the country.
If the government acts on the recommendations of the Standing Committee, Parliament may soon ban the sale and manufacture of single cigarettes. It may be recalled that 3 years ago, the Central Government had banned the sale and usage of e-cigarettes at the recommendation of the Health Ministry.
The standing committee noted that even after the implementation of GST, there has not been much increase in tax on tobacco products. The committee highlighted that the consumption of alcohol and tobacco products increases the risk of cancer.
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According to the latest tax slabs, a 22% GST is levied on bidis, 53% on cigarettes and 64% on smokeless tobacco in the country. On the other hand, WHO had asked the Government of India to impose 75% GST on tobacco products.
According to various reports, around 3.5 lakh people die every year in India due to cigarette smoking. In 2018, the National Council of Applied Economic Research had conducted a survey that showed 46% of the people who smoke are illiterate, while 16% are college-going students.
According to a report by the Foundation for Smoke-Free World, about 6.6 crore people smoke cigarettes every year in India, while more than 26 crore people use other tobacco products. About 21% of people in India get cancer due to tobacco use.
In India, smoking in public places is already banned. There can be a fine of up to Rs 200 for breaking the rule. The government has also banned the advertisement of tobacco products.