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Licence should be mandatory to sell tobacco products, say parents

November 14, 2017

4cigKOTA: On the occasion of Children's Day on Tuesday, experts and parents want that licenses should be made necessary for vendors to sell tobacco products, as these harmful items are readily available at every corner of the locality. In September, Union health department had already sent a circular to state governments to make provisions that eatables to kids are not sold with tobacco products.

Global Adults Tobacco Survey (GATS)-1 says that in Rajasthan, men start consuming tobacco at the average age of 17.7 years while women at 14.1 years because of easy availability of tobacco products.

Widespread use of chewable and other tobacco products by children, as well as adolescents, is mostly due to their easy availability and low cost. Addiction and oral cancer rates in children are increasing due to use of these smokeless tobacco products.

Dr Pawan Singal, patron, Voice of Tobacco Victim (VoTV), said, "Liquor and weapons can kill individuals but tobacco makes the whole family of a victim children suffer. If there is a licence system for selling liquor and possessing weapons, then why not for selling tobacco, so that children can be saved from tobacco addiction."

"The sale and availability of tobacco products should be controlled, so that childhood could be saved from being caught into tentacles of tobacco," said Manan Chaturvedi, chairperson, Rajasthan State Commission for Protection of Child Rights. "Recently, the Union government has directed that states should ensure that products aimed for the use of children such as biscuits, chocolates, candies etc should not be sold at tobacco shops. Clearly, the sale of tobacco products should be through licence and by authorized vendors only," she added.

Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products (COTPA) Act 2003 restricts sale and purchase of any tobacco product within 100 yards of schools. COTPA also directs to display board inside and outside educational institutes declaring them to be tobacco free campuses but such boards are hardly found hanging in urban as well as rural government schools, said Chhaya Saxena, legal counsellor, Mahila Sureksha Salhakar, Bundi.

Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) says:

- 14.6% currently use any tobacco product

- 4.4% smoke cigarettes

- 12.5% use other tobacco products

- 15.5% of non-smokers are likely to initiate smoking next year

Source: The Times of India