In an unprecedented move, Patna Municipal corporation has put an embargo on free sale of all kinds of tobacco products in the Patna Municipal Corporation area. The stockists, whole sellers and retailers of Tobacco / Tobacco products are now required to obtain a licence from PMC and fulfil the necessary conditions for trading of tobacco and tobacco products.
Patna municipal commissioner Abhishek Singh, IAS has said that PMC has become the 1st Municipal Authority in the country to issue such an order for tobacco control.
This move will certainly restrict the rampant use of tobacco and tobacco products by curbing its accessibility especially for children, adolescents and minors.With compulsory licencing requirement, now, the Government will limited the number of shop selling Tobacco products.
The limited number of tobacco selling shops will further help the law enforcers designated under Cigarette and Other Tobacco Product Act 2003 (COTPA) to enforce ban on sale to and by minors, prohibition of sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions and ban on sale of smokeless tobacco.
This revolutionary step by GOB shows Bihar government’s commitment to make Bihar an Addiction-free society. Recently, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) had also issued an advisory to the Chief Secretaries of all states to develop a mechanism to provide “permission/authorisation” to retail outlets selling tobacco products.
It was also suggested that shops authorised to sell tobacco products should not be permitted to sell any non-tobacco products such as biscuits, toffees and chips that are essentially meant for children. The recent order is issued under Bihar Municipal Act 2007, which has provision for mandatory license requirement for sale of Tobacco products.