Wednesday, December 1, 2021
HyderabadNCPCR experts urge Centre to control youth taking to tobacco use

NCPCR experts urge Centre to control youth taking to tobacco use

Published: 28th Oct 2021 7:54 pm

Hyderabad: Chairman of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, representatives from retailers’ association, global and local experts have appealed to the Government of India to strengthen the national tobacco control law in order to protect the youth from taking up tobacco use. The experts urged the government that increasing legal age of sale of tobacco products to 21 years, adopting comprehensive ban on tobacco advertisement and promotion and banning sale of single sticks of cigarettes/bidis, would go a long way to prevent children and youth from initiating tobacco use at an early age.

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The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce Production, Supply and Distribution (COTPA) Act, 2003 was introduced in 2003 to regulate advertising, sale, and availability of most forms of tobacco products in India. The Act prohibits the advertisement of cigarette and other tobacco products but does not regulate their advertisement at point of sale. Sale of single sticks is also permissible, increasing affordability and accessibility to minors to purchase tobacco products easily.

According to the Global Youth Tobacco Survey released recently by Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, nearly one-fifth of students aged 13-15 years are using tobacco products in India. The nationwide survey of students revealed that 38 per cent of cigarettes, 47 per cent of bidi and 52 per cent of smokeless tobacco users picked up the habit before their 10th birthday.

“It is scientifically established that if a person is kept away from tobacco till the age of 21 years and above, there is a very high probability that he/she will remain tobacco free for the rest of his life. Several countries have now increased the minimum age of sale of tobacco products 21 years and banned sale of single cigarettes to control their easy accessibility and affordability to youth,” urged Mr Priyank Kanongoo, chairman, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

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