Union Ministry of Health proposed COTPA (Amendment) Bill 2015

Jan 14, 2015 11:11 IST

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on 13 January 2015 proposed the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) (Amendment) Bill 2015 (COTPA).

The bill seeks to amend some provisions of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003.

The Draft Bill has been put out in the public domain by the Ministry for inviting suggestions from stakeholders by 15 February 2015.

Provisions of the COTPA (Amendment) Bill 2015
• The bill proposes to ban on-site advertising of tobacco products and shops selling cigarettes and other tobacco products will no longer be able to display the brand names.
• It proposed scrapping of designated smoking areas from hotels, restaurants and airports making an exception only for international airports to prevent exposure of non-smokers to harmful emissions.
• The penalty for smoking in restricted areas has been raised from 200 to 1000 rupees.
• Anyone found producing tobacco products without the specified warning will be liable for imprisonment for up to two years for the first offence or fine up to 50000 rupees or both.
• For the second and subsequent offences, the imprisonment can be up to five years with a fine of up to 1 lakh rupees.
• Selling products without warning will incur a fine of up to 10000 rupees or a jail term of up to one year or both and subsequent offence will draw a fine of up to 25000 rupees and a jail term of two years.
• Tobacco products and cigarettes in approved packaging will now be sold only to those above 21 years of age. The proposed age limit will be revised after evaluating the impact of raising the minimum age.
• The draft Bill also proposes a ban on spitting of tobacco products, pointing it out as the biggest cause of spread of diseases like Tuberculosis, Avian Flu and H1N1 virus.
• It has also been proposed to extend the ban on sale of cigarettes and tobacco products from 100 yards of an educational institution to 100 metres.
• The bill proposes to set up a National Tobacco Control Organisation (NTCO) that will implement and monitor the provisions of COTPA, 2003.

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