Hot Off The PressNews

Governor of Texas Greg Abbott while signing a Senate Bill 21 has increased the age to 21 from 18 to buy cigarettes, e-cigarettes or other tobacco products.

This would mean that anyone under the age of 21 years would not be eligible to buy the above stated.

The only exception that has come into the light is only the people who are military. The legislation would come into effect from 01-09-2019.

Penalty: Anyone caught breaking this new law will face a Class C misdemeanor and a fine of up to $500.


[Source: CNN]

[Picture Credits: Texas Tribune]

Cabinet DecisionsLegislation Updates

The Union Cabinet has given approval to accede to the Protocol under World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products. It will be applicable to both smoking and chewing or smokeless tobacco (SLT) forms as  negotiated and adopted under Article 15 of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).  India is a party to WHO FCTC.

Details: The protocol lays down obligations of the parties. It spells out supply chain control measures that must be adopted by the parties viz. licensing of manufacture of tobacco products and machinery for manufacturing of tobacco products, due diligence to be kept by those engaged in production, tracking and tracing regime, record keeping, security; and measures to be taken by those  engaged in e-commerce, manufacturing in free-trade zones and duty free sales.

The protocol lists out offences, enforcement measures such as seizures and disposal of seized products. It calls for international cooperation in information sharing, maintaining confidentiality, training, technical assistance and cooperation in scientific and technical and technological matters.

Impact: Elimination of illicit trade in tobacco products through strengthened regulation will help in strengthening comprehensive tobacco control, leading to reduction in tobacco use which in turn, will result in reduction in disease burden and mortality associated with tobacco use.

Accession to such treaty will provide actionable alternatives against such prevailing practices that are affecting public health at large. India, being at the forefront of tobacco control, would be able to influence the international organizations including World Custom Organization in controlling such illicit trade.

The protocol to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products is a path breaking initiative in strengthening global action against tobacco and is also a new legal instrument in public health. It is a comprehensive tool to counter and eventually eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products and to strengthen legal dimensions for international health cooperation.

Background: The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) is the first international public health treaty negotiated under the auspices of the WHO. The objective of FCTC is to provide a framework for supply and demand reduction measures for tobacco control at the national, regional and global levels.

One of the key tobacco supply reduction strategies contained in Article 15 of WHO FCTC envisages elimination of all forms of illicit trade and tobacco products, including smuggling, illicit manufacturing and counterfeiting. Accordingly, the said Protocol was developed and adopted by the Conference of Parties (COP) which is the governing body of FCTC. The protocol is divided into 10 parts and contains 47 Articles.

Cabinet