62.5% VENDORS SELL SMOKING TOBACCO PRODUCTS NEAR EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS IN GUWAHATI! - DeskO [Desk Opinion]

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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

62.5% VENDORS SELL SMOKING TOBACCO PRODUCTS NEAR EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS IN GUWAHATI!

Violation of law banning sale of tobacco products near educational institutes came to light during a survey in Guwahati.

During the sample survey it was found that while 55.87% vendors sell non-smoking tobacco products, 62.5% vendors sell smoking tobacco products near educational institutions in Guwahati.

As per the survey, 59.54% vendors around the educational institutions advertise tobacco products and brands.

But according to the Cigarette and other Tobacco Products Act, 2003, no person shall offer for sale or permit sale of cigarettes or any other tobacco product to any person, who is less than eighteen years of age and in an area within a radius of one hundred yards of any educational institution.

The recent sample survey – ‘Selling of tobacco products near educational institutions in Guwahati’ – was conducted by the 9th semester students of the Centre for Juridical Studies, Dibrugarh under the guidance of the Consumer Legal Protection Forum.

The survey, which was started from January 22, 2019 will continue till February 14, 2019.
The sample survey covered shops, vendors, mobile vendor, street vendors, etc. around 43 educational institutions in 22 wards in the city.

According to the survey report, 87.72% vendors openly display tobacco products to attract the consumers.

The survey report stated that there are no pictorial health warning signs displayed in 91.74% vendors who sell tobacco products around the educational institutions though under the Cigarette and other Tobacco Products Act, 2003, it is mandatory to display pictorial health warning signs in every vendor selling tobacco products.

Violating the Cigarette and other Tobacco Products Act, 2003, 64% of vendors sell candy and chips with tobacco products.

Tobacco vendor licensing policy is an effective tool to fight such activities. Union Ministry of Health and Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation also issued advisories to Assam government to develop a mechanism for tobacco vendor licensing and restrict sale of candy, chips, etc. to attract children tobacco shops.

But violation of such laws was noticed during the survey near the educational institutes in Guwahati.

The survey team includes Anindita Bhuyan, Baishali Sarmah, Dolimoni Gowala, Pushpanjali Chetry, Rituparna Goswami, Shabana Alam, Swastika Dutta and Torali Dihingia.

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