The Food and Drug Administration in Maharashtra has shifted focus on imported tobacco products that are being sold without the mandatory 85 per cent health warning on both the sides of the pack. It is expected that the duty-free shops selling tobacco products will also have to face the heat which started after the seizure of Rs 300 crore worth cigarettes across Maharashtra.
Last Saturday, officials from the drug regulatory body raided a shop in Fort for stocking imported cigarettes that carried minimal or no health warnings. The owner has been booked under section 7 of the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA). Under the act, the seller and distributor of cigarette can face one year imprisonment, a fine of Rs 1000, or both.
The Centre has made 85 per cent health warnings compulsory from April 1, 2016, despite repeated attempts by the tobacco manufacturers to thwart the decision.
The union health ministry wrote to all state governments asking them to seize the tobacco products before they could hit the market.