Stringent tobacco laws on the cards

Staff Reporter

After the historic Tobacco Act amendment, the government has now hinted at implementing stringent rules and regulations on distribution, sale and buying of tobacco and tobacco products.

The government said not every shop will get to sell and distribute tobacco and tobacco products when the Tobacco Control Amendment Bill 2021 comes into enforcement.

The Prime Minister, during the Meet the Press session, said the government will put in place stringent rules and regulations concerning the distribution, sale and buying of tobacco and tobacco products in the country.

In addition, the Prime Minister said the government will take action to discourage people from consuming tobacco and tobacco products and identify proper channels of distribution.

 Lyonchhen said the government will make sure that tobacco is not available in every corner of the place. He added that the government and concerned agencies will bring in a very professional approach to discourage smokers and chewers, to make sure that anybody, everybody who gets involved in the habit will be accounted for.

“We need not allow every shop, every grocery, every bar and every pan shop to sell tobacco. We are drafting on it. Secondly, the age limit, those under 18 will definitely not be allowed to buy tobacco or sell tobacco,” said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister also added that provisions like restrictions on smoking in public places, institutions and offices, public transports and entertainment centres will remain as per the existing law.

The National Assembly and the National Council adopted the Tobacco Control Amendment Bill 2021 during the recent parliament session. The bill was declared as an urgent bill following heightened cautions after continuous smuggling of tobacco products through the country’s porous southern border.

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