Thiruvananthapuram: The Union Health Ministry has directed states to strictly implement the central rules to discourage consumption of cigarette and other tobacco products and act against advertising them directly or indirectly.
A letter in this regard has been sent to Chief Secretaries and DGPs of all states by secretary to the Union Health Ministry, according to official sources here.
The Centre's direction came in the wake of the Supreme Court upholding the rules framed on the basis of The Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products (prohibition of advertisement and regulation of trade and commerce, production, supply and distribution) Act 2003.
Implementation of some of the rules formulated under the legislation were stayed by the Mumbai High Court. However, the Supreme Court through an order in July this year set aside the High Court order.
The letter recalled that section 5 of the Act has prohibited all forms of advertisements (direct, indirect and surrogate) and banned sale of tobacco products to persons below 18 years of age.
Stating that the Centre and states are bound to "rigorously" implement the rules, the Chief Secretaries and DGPs have been asked to give instructions in this regard to officials of Home, Health and Local Self Government departments.