India moves toward ban on loose cigarettes

More than 70 percent of the cigarettes sold in India are loose, IANS reported.

“The federal health ministry has accepted the recommendation of an internal panel and will seek cabinet approval before imposing the ban,” Health Minister J.P. Nadda told parliament.

Shares in India s largest cigarette maker, ITC Ltd, fell 5.2 percent, its biggest daily drop in five months, and Godfrey Phillips India Ltd lost nearly 9 percent. By comparison, the main Mumbai market index fell 0.8 percent.

As many as 900,000 people in India die from tobacco related diseases a year and that number could jump to 1.5 million by 2020, the International Tobacco Control Project estimates.

India is a party to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which states that countries “shall endeavor” to prohibit sales of loose cigarettes, which are more affordable for minors.

The panel s recommendation also calls for an increase in the minimum legal age for buying tobacco products and a rise in the penalties for violators. Details on how the government would implement such a ban on single smokes were not disclosed.

Morgan Stanley said the proposed ban was a “clear sentiment negative” for ITC, although implementing it would be difficult. Cigarette companies could introduce smaller pack sizes to cushion the impact of the proposed policy change, it said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi s government, which took office six months ago, has been adopting measures to curb India s tobacco consumption.

Last month, it increased taxes on tobacco products and ordered companies to stamp health warnings across 85 percent of the surface of cigarette packs.

Natas asbestos » [in the news] bootleg cigarettes containing asbestos on sale in belfast.

November 27, 2014 / Blog / No Comments A notorious black market cigarette brand known to contain asbestos is on sale in Belfast.

The highly dangerous Jin Ling brand is one of a host of illegal tobacco products increasingly available in the city.

Smuggling them here is said to have become the “crime of choice” for organised gangs, who can make huge profits from their sale.

That’s the warning from tobacco manufacturer Philip Morris Ltd after it commissioned former Scotland Yard detective chief inspector Will O’Reilly to carry out a survey of illicit tobacco in Belfast.

Over three days in August this year, illegal tobacco products were bought from 49 shops, pubs and minicab offices across the city. They included fake versions of well known brands of cigarettes, roll your own tobacco and illegal black market brands including the notorious Russian made Jin Ling, which is banned in the UK.

Source The Belfast Telegraph

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