Tobacco sellers' assn protest against Centres advisory

31 Oct 2017

A micro retailers association Tuesday staged a protest against the Centres advisory to state governments, proposing a ban on tobacco and paan shops from selling food items.
The association said the suggestion, if implemented, would affect the livelihood of around five lakh shopkeepers.
A protest meeting was held today in central Kolkata, where shop owners sought Prime Minister Narendra Modis intervention into the matter.
"The arbitrary suggestion to disallow food items in our shops could be life-threatening for many. We request the Prime Minister to look into the matter," secretary of Paschimbango Pan Abong Tamak Bikreta Samity (West Bengal paan and tobacco sellers association) Moloy Biswas said.
The health ministry had last month sent letters to the state governments to suggest a ban on non-tobacco products such as chips, bread, eggs and biscuits in retail shops that sell tobacco. The move, as the ministry said, would prevent children from exposure to tobacco products.
Biswas claimed they do not sell tobacco products to minors.
"To avoid a harmful product, you cant adopt a blanket ban on all the other products. It would inconvenience local people," he said. (EOIC)