Now, licence should for tobacco distributors

LUCKNOW: Taking note of rising tobacco menace and the threat it poses to public health, has decided to allow only those vendors to sell tobacco, cigarettes and related products who procure a licence for the same from the corporation.
Lucknow will hence become the first city in India which will make it mandatory for shopkeepers to take a licence for selling tobacco products.

will also fix the number of such shops and vendors in every ward. An LMC team will conduct a survey to determine the number of vendors in a ward to be granted permission.

Municipal commissioner has directed the committee working on tobacco-related issues to prepare a draft for the licence system which can be implemented soon.

He said, “We aim to implement licence system for tobacco vendors from the next financial year.”

Till date there is no regulation of tobacco products‘ sale and vendors opened shops wherever they wished. Many are also seen flouting the guidelines of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act 2003 (COTPA) which restricts sale of eatables at tobacco shops. The rule also says that there should be no tobacco shop within 100 metre periphery of a school.

LMC is planning to keep the licence fee considerably high to discourage people from selling tobacco products. As per the latest , the consumption of tobacco has declined in India, but has shot up in UP.

TIMESVIEW

It is a good move but success will depend on following three factors: 1) It will be a herculean task for the LMC to enroll tobacco vendors given the huge number of shops across the city. 2) LMC will have to put a dedicated team for issuance of licences and monitoring to catch violators. 3) LMC‘s track record in implementing such measures has been poor. For examples, many tobacco shops can be found around schools and colleges in violation of law. Hence, implementation would require seriousness on the part of senior officials.

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