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Govt wants to raise legal age of smoking to 21

07 Jan 2021. The Indian government has prepared a bill to increase the legal age of smoking to 21 years and to ban loose cigarettes, Business Today reported.

According to the report, the Centre has prepared a draft bill to raise the age for consumption of cigarettes and tobacco products from the current 18 years to 21 years. In addition, the bill proposes to ban the sale of loose cigarettes, ban designated smoking rooms in restaurants and airports, and increase penalties for violating the rules in public places.

The government has also sought to increase the penalty for selling tobacco products to persons under the legal smoking age to a two-year prison sentence or a fine up to INR 100,000 (USD 1,366). The sale of illicit products will lead to imprisonment for 1 year and a fine of INR 50,000 (USD 683). The punishment for manufacturing illicit cigarettes is imprisonment of 2 years and a fine of INR 100,00. The penalty for smoking at restricted areas is also being increased from INR 200 (USD 2.73) to INR 2,000 (USD 27.32), the report said.