Wednesday December 11, 2019

Punjab Takes Tough Stand On Illegally Imported Cigarettes

Punjab Principal Secretary on Monday directed the concerned authorities to initiate action against vendors indulging in the sale of illegally imported cigarettes and pan masala

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cigarettes, illegal, import, punjab, laws
The trade of illegal brands is getting acute in big cities like Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala and Amritsar where the retailers prefer to sell these brands which are cheap and the profit margins are enormous. Pixabay

Taking a tough stand, Punjab Principal Secretary (health and family welfare) Anurag Aggarwal on Monday directed the concerned authorities to initiate action against vendors indulging in the sale of illegally imported cigarettes and pan masala with flavoured chewing tobacco in separate sachets.

IANS last week highlighted how the sale of illegally imported cigarettes in the state has become common, posing a serious threat to the health of the smokers, who are getting hooked to catchy packets of international brands sans proper health warnings.

Anti-tobacco activists told IANS that the sale of illegal cigarettes, which is an organised crime, not only evades the state’s high taxes but also plays with the lives of smokers, mainly the first-timers, because of inferior manufacturing processes and low quality tobacco with high levels of tar and nicotine.

Presiding over the state-level coordination committee meeting here to curb the usage of tobacco, Aggarwal said that it is a matter of grave concern that some manufacturers are selling pan masala (without tobacco) with flavoured chewing tobacco in separate sachets, which are often sold together by the same vendor.

He said the sale of such products is totally illegal in the state.

Aggarwal said the sale of cigarette packets without 85 per cent pictorial warning against tobacco usage is also a crime.

He directed the Excise Department to take strict action against the offenders.

Trade insiders told IANS that Punjab alone has an annual legal market of 120 million cigarettes and the illegal market accounts for 20 per cent of the total trade.

cigarettes, illegal, import, punjab, laws
Aggarwal said the sale of cigarette packets without 85 per cent pictorial warning against tobacco usage is also a crime. Pixabay

Chandigarh and Panchkula have a market of 30 million and six million cigarettes annually, respectively, and the illegal market also has a share of 15-20 per cent.

Most of the illegal cigarette brands originate from China and Indonesia and the retailers are getting attracted to them as they are available at a significantly lower price as compared to the legal brands. They are sold in the market at one fifth the price of the legal products.

“The trade of illegal brands is getting acute in big cities like Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala and Amritsar where the retailers prefer to sell these brands which are cheap and the profit margins are enormous,” said an insider.

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Take the case of an illegally imported brand. A pack of 20 cigarettes costs Rs 20-30 to the retailer, who sells it for Rs 100. An Indian brand, on the other hand, costs between Rs 250 and Rs 300 with a profit margin of approximately Rs 5 per pack.

The insider said there is huge price difference between Indian brands and the illegal ones due to tax evasion. (IANS)

Next Story

Here’s Why Smoking Cigarettes Can Increase Depression Risk

In a Study, Not only is there evidence that smoking can be detrimental to mental health, but much of the excess mortality associated with depression is due to smoking

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Smoking
A research suggests that Smoking can have adverse effects on mental health.This new evidence adds further weight to support the implementation of smoke-free policies. Pixabay

If you are a regular smoker, quit now as researchers have found that tobacco Smoking may increase your risk of developing depression and schizophrenia.

“Individuals with mental illness are often overlooked in our efforts to reduce smoking prevalence, leading to health inequalities,” said study lead author Robyn Wootton from the University of Bristol.

“Our work shows that we should be making every effort to prevent smoking initiation and encourage smoking cessation because of the consequences to mental health as well as physical health,” Wootton added.

For the study, published in the journal Psychological Medicine, the research team used UK Biobank data from 462,690 individuals of European ancestry, comprising 8 per cent current smokers and 22 per cent former smokers.

The team applied an analytic approach called Mendelian randomisation, which uses genetic variants associated with an exposure (e.g. smoking) to support stronger conclusions about cause-and-effect relationships.

Smoking
If you are a regular smoker, quit now as researchers have found that tobacco Smoking may increase your risk of developing depression and schizophrenia. Pixabay

“The increasing availability of genetic data in large studies, together with the identification of genetic variants associated with a range of behaviours and health outcomes, is transforming our ability to use techniques such as Mendelian randomisation to understand causal pathways,” said study senior author Marcus Munaf�.

“What this shows is that genetic studies can tell us as much about environmental influences – in this case the effects of smoking on mental health – as about underlying biology,” Munafo added.

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The research also suggests that Smoking can have adverse effects on mental health.This new evidence adds further weight to support the implementation of smoke-free policies.

Not only is there evidence that smoking can be detrimental to mental health, but much of the excess mortality associated with depression is due to smoking, the study added. (IANS)