Assam introduces anti-tobacco Bill

Guwahati: The anti-tobacco bill was tabled in Assam assembly today to prevent manufacturing and use of the product in non-smoking form with provision for imprisonment of up to seven years and a fine of Rs 5 lakh to the violators.

State Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma presented in the house the Assam Health (Prohibition of Manufacturing, Trade, Advertisement, Storage, Distribution, Sale and Consumption of Zarda, Gutkha, Panmasala etc Containing Tobacco) Act, 2013.

Whoever commits any offence shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 7 years and slapped a fine not less than Rs 1 lakh and which may extend to Rs 5 lakh, according to the bill.

The punishment will be given to those who are found engaged in manufacturing, advertising, storing, and trading, distributing and selling of zarda, gutkha, panmasala containing tobacco.

The Bill also suggested slapping a fine of Rs 1,000 on the consumer for the first offence and Rs 2,000 for the second and any subsequent offences.

"If any person after having been previously convicted of an offence under this Act, subsequently commits and is convicted for the same offence, he shall be liable to twice the punishment, which might have been imposed on a first conviction, subject to punishment being maximum provided for the same offence," the Bill said.

The bill clarified that `tobacco` will include leaves and other vegetative parts of Nicotiana-Tabacum and all products which are smokeless and are chewed and includes.


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