The Rajasthan State Human Rights Commission (RSHRC) on Thursday said people who sell cigarettes and other tobacco products should face life imprisonment.
It urged the Centre to amend or scrap the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003 to ban sale of tobacco products.
"Bidis, cigarettes, cigars or other tobacco products lead to deadly diseases and end human life. There should be a provision to award life imprisonment to people doing business of such dangerous and deadly products," the commission said in an order.
RSHRC chairman Justice Prakash Tantia took cognisance of the matter after going through a report by former WHO chairperson Margaret Chen in 2017.
He said cultivation of tobacco and its trade should be declared a cognisable offence and punishment should be provisioned.
"Tobacco lobby is powerful due to which campaign against tobacco was not successful. The budget on health due to tobacco-related diseases is more than revenue earned. The Centre and state can produce the order/directions of the commission in the Supreme Court in the petitions concerning the case if they find it justified," the commission said.
The RSHRC has forwarded the order to both central and state governments.
It said after banning e-cigarettes, the government has no justification to not prohibit tobacco products that are more harmful.
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