Sale of loose cigarettes still on despite ban

By: Narayan R

Shopkeepers are selling loose cigarettes though the Karnataka Government banned it on September 28, 2017.

Bangalore, October 10, 2017: Sale of loose cigarettes and other tobacco products is still prevalent in the city despite the ban imposed by the Karnataka government on September 28 this year.

The decision to ban was taken by the state’s Anti-Tobacco Cell and the Department of Health and Family Welfare.

A source in the department said, “The ban is in its initial phase, and currently, the public and shopkeepers are educated about the ban. After some time, the execution will take place, and people caught violating the ban will be imprisoned up to one year or fined Rs 1000, or both.”

He also added that the shopkeepers are still unaware of the ban, and hence, the impact of the ban can only be well and truly known after the initial phase.

Despite the ban, shopkeepers in the city have been selling cigarettes in ones and twos, stating that they are unaware of the ban.

Abhilash, who owns a shop near Anand Rao Circle, said, “I am unaware of the ban on cigarettes and tobacco products.”
Geeta, who runs a shop in Nityanandanagar said she was also unaware of the ban, and any such ban would affect her business badly, as most people buy loose cigarettes, not packs.

The public have mixed reactions regarding the ban. While a few of them welcomed this move, others were against it.

Kartik, an employee at Informatica, said, “I welcome the ban as smoking is a huge problem and health hazard. But with cigarettes still being sold in loose, the work is only half done. The authorities need to make sure the ban is implemented properly.”

Udit, a 22-year-old student from Delhi said, “I don’t agree with the ban. It’s wrong to pick on cigarettes alone. People will anyway find ways to buy in loose, be it legally or illegally. It’s like imposing something on others against their will.”

The ban comes only a few months after the implementation of GST, which saw the prices of cigarettes increase.  The 28 per cent GST was imposed in order to reduce the purchase of cigarettes among public.

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