Despite ban government nowhere to stop sale of loose cigarettes

Abid Hussain
January 17, 2018 BUSINESS 130 Views
Despite ban government nowhere to stop sale of loose cigarettes

With no check from authorities, the ban imposed by Jammu and Kashmir government on sale of loose cigarettes in the state is being violated openly by shopkeepers in the valley.
In the summer capital including other districts, selling of loose smoking products go unabated and unchecked.
“Every good order is not being implemented in the valley,” said Fayaz Ahmad a resident of Srinagar. Adding, “Nobody is present on the ground to implement ban order.”
According to people, the ban on loose cigarettes could have reduced the consumption of smoking products in Kashmir. However, they claimed “goverment’s apathy is the main hurdle in reducing its consumption”.
They said shopkeepers openly sell unpacked cigarattes in front of hospitals, educational institutions and government offices, whereas authorities have ‘turned a blind eye’ towards the violation.
Manzoor a student told Brighter Kashmir that “there seems to be a nexus between government and shopkeepers”.
He added, “Even cigarattes are being sold to kids and authorities keep watching.”
Despite repeated attempts, Director Health Services Kashmir, Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman could not be contacted as his mobile was switched off. Earlier when called on his office number, the person on the other end said, ‘meeting is going on’ and told call after some time.
It is pertinent to mention, the J&K government in 2016 had imposed ban on the sale of loose cigarettes, beedis and tobacco in order to ‘discourage’ the use of smoking products.
In the state of J&K, smokers spent more than other states on tobacco products, the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) 2016 had revealed.
GATS in other survey had also revealed that cigarette consumers in J&K are more than the national average.

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