Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh government on Wednesday banned sale of loose cigarettes and bidis, an official said.
The prohibition came into immediate effect with the issue of a notification under Section 7 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce Production, Supply and Distribution) Act of 2003.
Any person violating the law shall be punished under Section 20 of COTPA, a spokesperson for the state health department told IANS.
"The youngsters buy single cigarettes ... Our objective is to dissuade them from tobacco use and smoking. In case, we face any difficulty in implementation of ban through this notification, we may come out with a separate law on this," Health Minister Kaul Singh told reporters here.