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Minors sell cigarettes, cases go up

The number of sale of cigarettes by minors goes up.

Image Source: Allpostersimage

By Priyanka Sarkar

Bangalore, Oct 4: The number of cases booked by the police for cigarettes being sold by minors has seen a 90 per cent increase this financial year. The highest numbers of cases were recorded in south-west Bangalore, in areas like Koramangala, Madiwala and HSR Layout, police say.

The latest reports of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (COTPA) Department, City Crime Record Bureau (CCRB) show that there has been a massive increase in the sale of tobacco by minors in the Koramangala, HSR Layout and Madiwala areas.

In 2014, seven cases had been recorded, and the number went down to three in 2015. However, till August 31, 2016, 31 cases have been booked in these areas, alone. Across the city, 41 cases have been booked till August 31, 2016.

Data Source : City Crime Record Bureau (Bangalore)

This is a punishable offence under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003.

The COTPA makes it clear that cigarettes or any other tobacco products cannot be sold to any person under 18 years of age. It also prohibits the sale of these products by any person who is less than 18 years old.
Rangappa, a local cigarette shop owner in Koramangala says, his is a family business. In peak hours, his 14-year old son helps his father. Though, aware of the COTPA Act, Rangappa added, it’s a daily course of life and police doesn’t barge in everyday.

K.V. Sharath Chandra, Additional Commissioner Police, Crime says, even after several circulars and awareness programmes being released  by the COTPA, there has been a rise in the number of cases for the violation of Section 6(a). CCRB has now increased its patrols for more detection in these areas. The fine for this violation is Rs. 200 for each time, but this is not enough, he added.

Dr. Vishal Rao U. S., Oncologist says this offence further causes several health hazards for the non-smoking minors as they are open to passive contamination. It is equally harmful as smoking. He added, in many cases, these shops also act as a source for illegal drugs peddled to children below the age of 18.

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