Tobacco vendor licensing made mandatory in the state of Uttarakhand, India

The Union welcomes the announcement that tobacco vendor licensing has been made mandatory in the state of Uttarakhand, India, to regulate the trade of tobacco products in the state.

The Union and its partner, Balajee Seva Sansthan (BSS), worked closely with the government to develop this state level order issued by the Department of Urban Development under the Uttarakhand Municipal Corporation Act 1959.

The order will prohibit the marketing, manufacturing, storage, packaging and processing of any tobacco products in the state without a license. Licensed vendors will also be required to comply with the provisions set out in the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) 2003 and the and Juvenile Justice Act, 2015. Under these provisions, the sale of any product that is primarily targeted to children, such as biscuits and sweets, will also be prohibited in shops licensed to sell tobacco products. This is to reduce children’s exposure to tobacco.

“This order will help protect more than 10 million people of the state from the harms of tobacco and crucially will restrict opportunities for children to see and buy tobacco products,” said Dr Rana J Singh, Deputy Regional Director for South East Asia at The Union. “We hope that other states will follow the strong example set by states like Uttarakhand in protecting people, and especially children, from tobacco.”

The Union will work with local partners to support the Uttarakhand State Government and city administrations to effectively implement this order by developing implementation guidelines and building capacity of law enforcers in the state.

The Union has supported many other states to limit the accessibility and availability of tobacco products, including Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

Currently, The Union’s Global Implementation Program, funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, is supporting cities in West Bengal and Jharkhand to improve compliance with COTPA through the implementation and enforcement of vendor licensing. 

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