Bihar imposes ban on tobacco
Patna, Nov 7 (PTI) The Bihar government today announced a ban on tobacco and its products to ward off its ill effects on citizens.
Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi announced the ban on zarda, paan masala and other tobacco products on Tobacco prevention day.
The CM Jitan Ram Manjhi also said that tax on tobacco and its products would be enhanced. The state at present imposes 30 per cent tax on tobacco and its products and sources in Excise department said there was a proposal to double it up.
Bihar becomes the ninth state to impose ban on tobacco sale.
In a bid to strictly enforce no smoking in government offices and public places, the CM ordered officials to launch special drive.
He said action would be taken against officials if violation of ban was witnessed in offices and public places.
Jitan Ram Manjhi administered oath to children at a programme on the occasion in Gandhi maidan that they would not touch tobacco and its products throughout life.
He asked students to dissuade their family members and friends if they consume tobacco products.
Education minister Brishen Patel highlighted the ill effects of tobacco and its products. He said almost 50 per cent of cancer disease is due to consumption of tobacco and items made out of it.
Former state police chief and chief of Cancer Awareness Society T P Sinha said tobacco consumption level in Bihar is about 53.5 per cent against 35 per cent at national level.
More than 80,000 people die in the state of diseases borne out of tobacco consumption, Sinha added.