An anti-tobacco organisation has requested Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat to ban the sale of single cigarettes (as opposed to cigarettes packets) and increase tax levels by more than 10 percent on tobacco products in the annual budget this year.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference here, National Organisation for Tobacco Eradication (NOTE) General Secretary Shekhar Salkar said he had submitted a representation to Kamat to this effect.
‘Teenagers as well as the unemployed youth are more prone to buying a single cigarette as they are affordable for them and less expensive proposition. Sale of singles cigarettes is a dangerously addictive phenomenon,’ Salkar said.
‘By law also you have to sell cigarettes by the pack. A ban on such illegal sale of single cigarettes would surely deter them from buying a full packet, which is quite expensive for pockets of school and college going students,’ he said.
NOTE, in the past, has dragged Bollywood superstars Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan to court over issues related to smoking in public places. The organization had also complained against Ajay Devgn, who was photographed smoking while shooting in Goa for his film ‘Golmaal 3’.
Salkar said that a leverage of taxes in excess of 10 percent on cigarettes and tobacco-related products was essential to curb the menace.