COTPA, 2003

There are approximately 275 million smokers in India as of 2013, which according to WHO constitute around 12% of world smokers on 2009. Tobacco use accounts for nearly half of cancer case in Indian males and quarter of cancer cases in females. So the move by Ministry of Health and Family can be considered a right move in a country  where this public health hazard is on the rise.
Major Amendments proposed
Prohibition on indirect advertisements: The pseudo advertisements which most of the alcohol and cigarette companies do where they promote the brand name of their cigarette by non-tobacco product. This move will have a lasting and immediate effect on tobacco consumption. This move also falls in the Ambit of WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) which prohibits such brand sharing through advertisements. This move can be effectively enforced by the government.
Banning of display of tobacco products at point of sale: In shops and restaurant (point of sale) the tobacco products are displayed to promote their consumption. This tactic fuels the impulse of buying on consumers and is a “key mean” to promote consumption as direct advertisement is banned. This move can further reduce the consumption but implementing it would be a challenge as most of the point of sales are small shops, this is also the reason why sales to below 21 years of age can’t be controlled and why sales of loose bidis and cigarettes can’t be stopped. This move is also in line of recommendations of FCTC.
If the amendment is passed, the government need to come up with an effective strategy to implement them to make sure that these amendments don’t go on the same path where ban on sale to below 21 years of age and ban on loose bidis and cigarettes went.
Other Amendments
Ministry has proposed scrapping designated smoking areas from hotels, restaurants and airports; making an exception only for international airports.
The penalty for smoking in restricted areas has been upped from Rs. 200 to Rs. 1000.
Anyone found producing tobacco products without the specified warning will be liable for imprisonment for up to two years for the first offence or fine up to Rs. 50,000 or both. For the second and subsequent offences the imprisonment can be up to five years with a fine of up to Rs. 1 lakh.
Selling products without warning will incur a fine of up to Rs. 10,000 or a jail term of up to one year or both; subsequent offence will draw a fine of up to Rs. 25,000 and a jail term of two years.
The draft Bill also proposes a ban on spitting of tobacco products, pointing it out as the biggest cause of spread of TB, avian flu and H1N1.
The draft Bill that seeks to amend the provisions of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 is a right step towards reducing the consumption of tobacco products in India. Examine. (200 Words)
Cigarette Packaging issue:
  • Government and SC wants bigger size of pictorial warning on cigarette packets. Industry is strongly opposing it.
  • In Australia, number of smokers have reduced after packages has gone logo less
Should the government buckle under pressure because Tobacco farmers get affected:
  • Smoking kills more than 1 million people a year in India.
  • The World Health Organisation says tobacco-related diseases cost the country $16 billion (nearly Rs 1.06 lakh crore) annually.
  • Recently, the Indian Medical Association too had urged the Health Ministry to implement the bigger pictorial warnings stating that with 275 million adult users, India is the second largest consumer of tobacco products, globally.
    • Tobacco causes a gamut of serious diseases including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic pulmonary diseases and stroke
  • Packaging rules drastic and impractical. Law will increase smuggling of illegal cigarettes.
  • More than 8 million workers and their families are affected, and farmers’ groups are among those taking out large advertisements in newspapers criticising the legislation.
  • The subject of tobacco needs to be handled with great care and interests of the most vulnerable stakeholders in the delivery chain need to be safeguarded.
    • Unfortunately, recent policy focus has been one sided blindly aping the recommendations of the Western influence and in complete disregard for the local reality in India
  • So far the farming community has not been able to find any alternative, as tobacco is grown in semi-arid and non-irrigated lands. The government has so far not provided practical alternatives before rushing into any major policy changes.



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