After emphasizing on plain packaging of tobacco products, the Government of India has taken a laudable step to protect the children from fatal addiction of liquor and tobacco. A recent notification will soon be added in the Rules of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 which will state that all the tobacco products, liquor bottles and outlets/selling stores will have to carry a health warning that giving or selling intoxicants to a child is a punishable offence with up to 7 years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine up to 1 lakh.
Undeniably, this step is expected to help children from leading towards intoxicants and will stop sellers from selling it to young children. Currently, tobacco manufacturers are already defying the plain packaging norm i.e. 85% coverage by pictorial warning on packets and in addition, this notification will also disturb their revenues to a great extent. Let us take a look at the key features of this upcoming provision:-
Key Features of the soon-to-come notification under JJ Act’2015
- All the intoxicating products like tobacco or liquor items including their shopping stores/outlets must carry a warning i.e. ‘Giving or selling intoxicants to a child is a punishable offence’.
- Tobacco Products or liquor cannot be sold within 200 mts. of a childcare institution or a Juvenile Justice Board Office.
- Under this Act, new offences are to be introduced which will include:
- Giving intoxicating liquor, narcotic drug or tobacco products to children;
- Sale & procurement of children for any purpose;
- Corporal punishment in child-care institutions
- Use of children by militant or adult groups
- Kidnapping and abduction of children
- Offences against disabled person
- The punishment on committing of aforementioned offences will be a rigorous imprisonment upto 7 years or fine upto Rs.1 lakh or both.
As per Cigarettes & Other Tobacco Product (Prohibition of Advertisement & Regulation of Trade & Commerce, Production, Supply & Distribution) Act, sale of cigarette & tobacco production to people under 18 years of age is prohibited. Also, that there should be no sale of intoxicants in areas within 100 mts. radius of educational institutions. But, the penalty and punishment is just Rs.200/- or 3 months imprisonment. This new notification will change the current face of law enforcement.
With the implementation of this notification, Government of India is ensuring the protection of children from the intake of death-causing intoxicants. It is certainly going to bring positive changes in the society as tobacco and liquor vendors have to think twice before selling them to the future of India.