August 30, 2018
CHENNAI: The State Government is planning to make vendor licences mandatory for all retailers selling tobacco products.
The Directorate of Health, during a recent survey, found that most retailers who were caught for violating rules – in advertising tobacco and its ill-effects, selling cigarettes to those under 18 years of age and selling tobacco products near schools and other educational institutions – were not bothered about the heavy fines.
“These sellers are not scared or worried as tobacco manufacturers back them solidly. We have sent a proposal to reverse that and it will certainly affect their business,” said Dr. K. Kolandaisamy, Director (Public Health).
The 2017 data submitted to the High Court showed more than 1,000 shops were selling tobacco within 100 metres of educational institutions in over 100 places in the city.
More than 500 persons were booked for selling it to children below 18 years of age and over half a tonne of tobacco products were seized.
The Union Health Ministry had directed all States to develop a mechanism to “authorise” retail outlets selling tobacco products.