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TURA | June 30, 2019:

In a welcoming move, the district administration of West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya has banned all tobacco related items from being sold near any educational institutions.

This was informed by the deputy commissioner of WGH, Ram Singh, though a communiqué.

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The circular by the DC was given on June 25 this month and came into force immediately. The order comes after various complaints from many quarters of shop keepers selling cigarettes and tobacco products to minors in the markets as well as close to the proximity of educational institutions without hindrance which was in violation with section 6 of the COTP Act, 2003 of the Supreme Court. The Act prohibits the sale of tobacco products to minors.

The DC’s order also highlights other aspects of the Act which state that seizures could be made by police personnel not below the rank of a SI or the State Food and Drug Administration again holding a similar rank of an SI or above. The seizures can be undertaken on the suspicion of tobacco products being sold to minors.

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“The sale of tobacco products close to educational institutions not only is in violation of the directions of the SC but also influences and normalizes consumption of these products in kids leading to addiction in later years,” stated the order by the DC.

The DC through the order has prohibited sale of tobacco products within a radius of 100 yards (90 metres approx) from any educational institute while also asking shop owners to display warning signs of ‘Sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products to a person below the age of 18 is prohibited and a punishable offence’.

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The DC warned that any contravention of the order (through provisions of Section 6 of the COTP Act) would result in a fine and punishment as per the provisions of the law.

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