Centre urged to increase legal age of smoking to 21
NCPCR requests the Union government to adopt a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertisement and also ban on sale of single stick cigarettes
Hyderabad: The Chairman of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Priyank Kanongoo, appealed to the Union government to strengthen the national Tobacco Control Law in order to protect the youth from use of tobacco.
He also urged the government on increasing the legal age for buying of tobacco products to 21 years besides adopting a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertisement and promotion and ban on sale of single sticks of cigarettes.
According to the Global Youth Tobacco Survey release, nearly one-fifth of students aged between 13 and 15 years are using tobacco products in India. The nationwide survey of students revealed that 38 per cent of cigarettes, 47 per cent of beedi and 52 per cent of smokeless tobacco users picked up the habit before their 10th birthday.
Priyank said, "It is scientifically established that if a person is kept away from tobacco till the age of 21 years and above, there is very high probability that he/she will remain tobacco-free for the rest of his life. Several countries have now increased the minimum age for buying of tobacco products to 21 years and banned the sale of single cigarettes to control their easy accessibility and affordability to youth."
"Increasing the minimum legal age for buying of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years and banning the sale of single stick cigarettes by amending COTPA 2003, is crucial to protect youth from tobacco as it has the potential to reduce tobacco use initiation and progression to regular smoking," he added.