Himachal makes tobacco a licensed product in state

Fighting the anti-tobacco lobby with tough laws

Shimla: The Government of Himachal Pradesh has made it mandatory for all shops intending to sell tobacco, to have a valid license for it. From now onwards in order to sell any kind of tobacco product, a license would be needed in the state.

The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting held on Tuesday (16.2.2016), where it was decided that registration of retailers selling tobacco, should be made binding. The move has been made to have control over sale of loose bidis and cigarette in the state.

stop-smoking

If should be recalled that almost two hundred sellers of tobacco products like cigarettes and bidis, had undertaken a protest last month, urging the CM to draft a fair legislation for the retailers of these products.

A bill pertaining to the same issue is expected to be tabled in the next session of the Vidhan Sabha, starting from 25th February. The vendors are not supporting this new system of registration as they anticipate that it will only raise the level of corruption amongst the government officials dealing with this new process. They fear that their livelihood is all set to be affected in an adverse manner if this system comes into place.

Bon vivant, writer extraordinaire.

1 Comment

  • Smoking is a health hazard, like breathing in Delhi; so is consumption of alcohol or eating red meat (beef of course has been made fatal for reasons other than being bad for health) or kebabs or ham; and the more in detail one goes, the fewer the good things one can eat, or drink or even think about. Cigarettes, cigars, bidis, cheroots and other variants have become a big NO, NO! Thanks to American ideas about happiness (or is it wealth actually?).

    The question is that when societies are written about and admired and envied it is about the vices (including promiscuity) they uphold and enjoy. Historically, it would be very difficult (entailing tedious research) to come across a virtuous society which has been happy?(though many pretend to be so).

    Governments have been using tax and regulation to stamp out vice, symbolised by cigarettes and alcohol, both of which have been taxed to a degree which is nothing short of criminal. We all know the result. The cigarette smokers will now smoke cheaper brands or bidis and the IMFL lobby will or may opt for ‘desi’ or even hooch. Getting hold of Defence liquor will become a bigger privilege (and racket).

    The vendors are right when they fear that “regulation through licencing” will lead to more corruption. (When will we learn any clean lessons?). Wonder why ALL governments don’t ban tobacco (like much else) and adopt prohibition?

    Then, at least cigarettes and booze will become affordable! And another million jobs created in the important informal sector!

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