Soon, licence must to sell cigarettes, tobacco items
The Department of Youth Empowerment and Sports is planning to elicit the support of NCC and NSS cadets in spreading awareness on the ills of tobacco use among the student community.
Published: 27th June 2022 05:52 AM | Last Updated: 27th June 2022 11:15 AM | A+A A-
BENGALURU: Soon, the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products in Karnataka will be through licensed vendors only. "The objective of the vendor licence for tobacco products rule, which is going to be notified shortly by the Urban Development Department (UDD), is to keep a check on the unregulated tobacco market. Violations will be booked under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 (COTPA)," said Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Special Commissioner, Health, and member, High-Powered Committee on Tobacco Control, Trilok Chandra.
He added that the urban local body will be the licensing authority for vendor licence for tobacco products. In the case of Bengaluru, it will be BBMP. "Tobacco is the gateway to other narcotic drugs. An unregulated market of cigarettes and other tobacco products is one of the main reasons for their easy availability and use among the youth, most of whom are college students. We are looking at engaging with the stakeholders -- the student community and educational institutions -- to prevent the escalation of tobacco use among youth," he said.
The Department of Youth Empowerment and Sports is planning to elicit the support of NCC and NSS cadets in spreading awareness on the ills of tobacco use among the student community. "Under the guidance of Minister for Youth Empowerment Narayana Gowda, the Department will seek the support of around five lakh NCC/NSS volunteers to spread awareness and step up vigilance among peer groups on the use of tobacco," said Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Youth Empowerment and Sports, Shalini Rajneesh.
"We will have a multi-pronged approach to spread awareness and step up vigilance on the use of tobacco among the youth, especially the student community with the help of NCC/NSS cadets, parent-teacher community and other stakeholders. The volunteers will also be in touch with the anti-narcotic wing of the State Excise Department for deterrent action against tobacco vendors and drug peddlers in and around college campuses," she added.
Senior oncologist, Dean - Centre of Academics & Research, HCG Cancer Centre, and member, State High-Powered Committee on Tobacco Control, Dr Vishal Rao, said that over 80 per cent of drug addicts begin with tobacco. "Use of tobacco at an early age makes a person vulnerable to substance abuse. They are more likely to experiment with cocaine, heroin and other narcotic and psychotropic drugs," he added.
"Drugs are illegal and not easily available. However, the only substance that takes addicts towards them is tobacco. Youngsters should join the campaign against drug use, which is the single most preventable cause of drug addiction," added Rao.