Sale of loose cigarettes now invites prison term in UP

Lucknow, Oct 7 (IANS) Sale of loose cigarettes across Uttar Pradesh has been banned and deemed a penal offence with immediate effect, officials said here on Wednesday.

Manufacturing and sale of loose cigarettes would invite a fine and a prison sentence, according to the orders issued by principal secretary (health) Arvind Kumar.

The state cabinet approved the move last week and with Governor Ram Naik signing an ordinance, the health department issued orders to the effect late on Tuesday.

As per the new law, anybody found selling loose cigarettes would be face a fine of Rs.1,000 and serve a one-year jail term.

Any individual violating the law for a second consecutive occasion would face a fine of Rs.3,000 and serve a three-year jail term.

Anybody caught manufacturing loose cigarettes will face a fine of Rs.10,000 and serve a five-year jail term.

Police officials have been entrusted with the responsibility of enforcing the ban on manufacture and sale of loose cigarettes.

The officials said the move was mooted by the state health department, following a spurt in diseases like tuberculosis and cancer.

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