BAN on sale of loose cigarettes

BAN on sale of loose cigarettes

Why in news: Recently, Parliament Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare has released a report about, “cancer management, prevention and diagnosis”.

Recommendations by the committee:

  • Government should institute a ban on sale of single sticks of cigarettes.
  • As the Committee also found that India has the lowest prices for tobacco products and thus, it must look to increase taxes on them.
  • To utilise the obtained revenue on cancer prevention and awareness programme.
  • Committee also cites to follow the cancer related provisions of National Health Policy(2017).
  • Ban on Gutka and pan masala alongside a prohibition on their direct and indirect advertisement.

Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking:

Smoking causes more deaths each year than the following causes combined:

    • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
    • Illegal drug use
    • Alcohol use
    • Motor vehicle injuries
    • Firearm-related incidents
  • Smoking causes about 90% (or 9 out of 10) of all lung cancer deaths.
  • More women die from lung cancer each year than from breast cancer.
  • Smoking causes about 80% (or 8 out of 10) of all deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Cigarette smoking increases risk for death from all causes in men and women.

smokers are more likely than non-smokers to develop heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer.

  • Estimates show smoking increases the risk:
    • For coronary heart disease by 2 to 4 times
    • For stroke by 2 to 4 times
    • Of men developing lung cancer by 25 times
    • Of women developing lung cancer by 25.7 times
  • Smoking causes diminished overall health, increased absenteeism from work, and increased health care utilization and cost.

Smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in your body:

  • Bladder
  • Blood (acute myeloid leukemia)
  • Cervix
  • Colon and rectum (colorectal)
  • Esophagus
  • Kidney and ureter
  • Larynx
  • Liver
  • Oropharynx (includes parts of the throat, tongue, soft palate, and the tonsils)
  • Pancreas
  • Stomach
  • Trachea, bronchus, and lung

Smoking also increases the risk of dying from cancer and other diseases in cancer patients and survivors.


  • There should be relative reduction in current tobacco use by 30% by 2025.
  • Government take effective measures to contain the sale of tobacco products.
  • Prohibit the sale of single sticks of cigarettes.
  • Abolition of all designated smoking areas in airports, hotels, and restaurants and also a call for encouraging a smoke –free policy in organisations.


  • Oral cancer accounts for the highest proportion of cancer cases in the country.
  • In India, more than 80% of tobacco consumption is in the form of chewing tobacco, marketed as a mouth freshener.
  • In a study conducted by The Lancet in June 2020 noted, “By 2030, 7 million annual deaths from smoking are expected to be from low and middle income countries”.
  • The government is focusing to ban single sticks of cigarettes as ban on single- stick sales would compel a potential consumer to buy the entire pack which may not be particularly economical, thus curbing potential experimentation and the scope for regular intake.


The government should consider instituting vendor licensing as by allowing lakhs of shops to sell cigarettes and other tobacco related products will make it very difficult for the government in implementing the ban on the sale of single sticks of cigarettes.

Syllabus: Prelims + Mains; GS2 – Issues related to Health