Cigarettes Current Affairs - 2020

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WHO: India off-track to meet tobacco target

The World Health Organization on December 19, 2019, released its report on Global Tobacco use trends. According to the report, number of males using tobacco has declined globally for the first time. The report says that the anti-smoking campaigns all over the world is the main reason for the number of tobacco users to reduce.

Highlights: World

Globally the number of tobacco users have declined by 60 million people. In 2000, the overall tobacco users were 1.397 billion and it has come down to 1.337 billion in 2018. The report says despite the reduction in numbers, the global target set by governments to reduce the use of tobacco by 30% by 2025 remains off track. So far only 32 countries are on track to reach the target.

Around 43 million children (of age 13-15) are using tobacco in 2018. The number of women using tobacco was 244 million. Of all the regions of the world, South East Asian region has the highest use of tobacco. The only region on track to achieve the target is the Americas.

Highlights: India

According to the report, India is off track to achieve the target of 30% reduction by 2025 as compared to 2010 level. Along with India 163 countries are off the track.

However, the consumption rate in India is going down by 21.6% as compared to 2010. The current users of smokeless form of tobacco in India is estimated to be 257,020,000.

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Bihar Government bans sale of loose cigarettes

Bihar Government has banned sale of loose cigarettes in the state. This decision aims to be deterrent to kids and youngsters who start smoking by buying loose cigarettes.

In this regard, state health department has issued notification under Section 20 of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003. Bihar is the 12th state in the country to bring such a ban into effect after Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Delhi and others.

Key Facts

Section 20 of COTPA, 2003 makes sale, distribution, purchase, display and advertisement of tobacco products without essential pictorial warnings a punishable offence. As the loose cigarettes don’t have pictorial warnings, thus its sale, distribution, purchase, display and advertisement is banned under COTPA, 2003.

As per Global Adults Tobacco Survey (GATS), 53.5% adults consume tobacco in one or other form in Bihar while 9% of this 53.5% are addicted to cigarette. Large number of state population is dependent on loose cigarettes, including teenagers. The decision of banning sale of loose cigarettes will save children from cigarette consumption as kids and teenagers are not able to buy the whole packet but go for loose cigarettes.

COTPA, 2003

It is an Act of Parliament enacted in 2003 to prohibit advertisement of and to provide for regulation of trade and commerce in and production, supply and distribution of cigarettes and other tobacco products in India. It was enacted by Parliament to give effect to Resolution passed by 39th World Health Assembly (WHA), urging member states to implement measures to provide non-smokers protection from involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke.

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