Kathmandu, March 14:
The government has enforced the provision of acquiring a license to sell tobacco and tobacco products from today. With this, sale of tobacco products is allowed only from license-holding outlets.
The meeting of the Council of Ministers on January 19 took a decision in this connection by endorsing a proposal presented by the Ministry of Health informing the government about adverse impact of the consumption of tobacco and tobacco products on people's health.
The Article 11(6) states that Government of Nepal may, if it deems necessary, make provisions of license for sale and distribution of tobacco products.
Now the provision is in place that the registration of tobacco business shall be done in an authority concerned, a separate license from the Inland Revenue Office shall be obtained to sell tobacco products and there shall be a separate outlet for sale and distribution of tobacco products, Raju Katuwal, legal advisor to the Health Minister, said.
Anyone found violating the provision shall be punished as per the Act, the Ministry said.
Tobacco retailers should place a clearly visible and readable notice in front of the shop to inform the public about the legal provision that no person shall be allowed to sell and distribute tobacco products to a person below the age of 18 and to the pregnant woman, and no person below the age of 18 and pregnant woman shall be made to sell and distribute tobacco products.
With the enforcement of the government decision, sale of tobacco products from grocery stores has been banned and the government has assigned the Assistant Chief District Officer to monitor in this regard in every district. The Ministry was receiving public complaints that an unchecked sale of various forms of tobacco products (Bidi, Tamakhu, Sulfa, Kakkad, Kachha Surti, Khaini and Gutkha), cigarette and cigar stick has caused adverse impact on the public health, mainly of women and children.