India moves to curb tobacco consumption

Alongside the move to increase the size of health warnings on packs of cigarettes, India has been taking steps to reduce tobacco consumption. Here are other examples of efforts to curb demand:

Delhi ban on chewing tobacco

The Delhi government last month prohibited the sale, purchase, and possession of chewing tobacco in the capital. Violation of the rules can lead to fines of up to 300,000 rupees or jail sentences of up to six months. Chewing tobacco is believed to be responsible for the vast majority of mouth cancers in India. There had been earlier attempts to introduce such a ban that were fought off by tobacco manufacturers.

Move to stop sale of loose cigarettes

Last October, the state of Uttar Pradesh in north India banned the sale of loose cigarettes, although reports suggest that these laws are being flouted. There have been other attempts to ban selling of individual cigarettes in India, which are estimated to account for about three-quarters of sales. In March, the Legal Metrology Organisation in Maharashtra, the western Indian state in which Mumbai is based, called for cigarette manufactures to end the sale of loose cigarettes, arguing that such products did not display the required health warnings.


It is not only tobacco that authorities are concerned about. Selling e-cigarettes that contain nicotine is illegal in Maharashtra, according to a report in the Times of India. The Indian Medical Association this month launched a campaign to try to create awareness of the potential harmful effects of e-cigarettes.

Stopping foreign direct investment

The Indian government is considering a complete ban on foreign direct investment (FDI) into its tobacco industry, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. The agency said that the union ministry of commerce and industry was working on a proposal for a complete ban. While FDI is currently permitted in areas including licensing, franchise, and trademark, it is not permitted in the manufacturing of cigarettes.

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