Soon, if you are caught smoking cigarette in public places, then you might end up paying Rs 20,000 as fine. The Union government is considering to increase the amount of fine by 100 times which is currently only Rs 200 and also ban the sales of loose cigarettes and increase the age limit of tobacco consumption from 18 to 25 years.
Experts panel have submitted a report to the Health ministry which is likely to review Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act 2003 [COTPA]. The NDA government is looking more aggressive in containing smoking and firstly it would take a drastic step by hiking the fine by a huge margin. If the experts panel suggestions are accepted, the government is planning to introduce the amendments in the winter session of parliament to curb tobacco consumption.
Tobacco use accounts of 40% of all cancers in India and about 275 million Indians [35% of adult population and 14.1 % of children aged 13-15 years] are tobacco users. The Union Health Ministry in a recent report revealed that Rs 1, 04,500 crores were spent on tobacco related diseases in the year 2011.