Battle for Tobacco Control – India (Part 3)

In this article an attempt has been made to discuss the rules framed under Tobacco Control Legislation Act of 2003. It discusses in detail what is a public place, specific rules relating to advertising and statutory warning and sale of tobacco to minors.

We have already discussed some information related to the battle against tobacco in our country. As discussed in part 1, the Tobacco Control Legislation, 2003 has gone a long way in promoting an anti-tobacco environment in the country. In part 2 we discussed some of the legislation that have been specifically passed. n this article an attempt has been made to discuss the rules framed under Tobacco Control Legislation Act of 2003.

Key Rules under Tobacco Control Legislation Act, 2003.

Some important rules were put in place as a result of the Tobacco Control Legislation Act, 2003. It fell under the purview of the Ministry of Health to frame the rules. The rules were implemented from May, 2004. Rules were framed for three main provisions:

  • Prohibition of smoking in a public place
  • Prohibition of advertisement of cigarettes and other tobacco products, and
  • Prohibition of sale to minors.

Specific rules regarding the three are discussed in detail below:

  1. Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places

Before discussing the rules framed for the same it is important to understand what does the term ‘public place’ connote.

  • Public Place: The Act defines a public place as any place to whichdownload the public have access. They could enjoy access to the place as a right or otherwise. Auditoriums, hospitals, waiting rooms at railway stations, amusement centers, restaurants, court complexes, public offices and public conveyances have been specifically included in this category of places where smoking is banned.

Specific rules with regards to this blanket ban are:

  • Display of notice by the owner or the manager of such public place.
  • It is mandatory that the notice with the following warnings be displayed at two places – one at the entrance and second inside the premises –

               – No smoking area.
               – Smoking here is an offence.
               – The size of the board shall be a minimum of 60 X 30 centimeters.
               – The notice shall be in an Indian language as used in the area.

Sponsored Links
  • In every hotel with 30 rooms or a restaurant with a seating capacity of 30 or more it shall be the responsibility of the owner or the manager to ensure:

                    – Physically segregated and clearly marked smoking and non-smoking areas;

                   – The smoking area has to be placed in such a manner that the public is not required to pass through it in order to access non-smoking area;

  1. Prohibition of advertisement of cigarettes and other tobacco products

There are strict guidelines with regards to advertisements of cigarettes and other tobacco products. These rules are:

  • The size of the board used for advertisement of cigarettes and tobaccos at the point of sale will not exceed 90 x60 centimeters and the number of such boards shall not be more than two in number.
  • Every board shall contain the statutory warning in an Indian language applicable in the region and occupy 25% of the board. The warning shall clearly state:                                                                      –  ‘Tobacco causes cancer’ or ‘Tobacco kills
  • The advertisement shall only consist of the brand name of the cigarette or the tobacco product with no picture or message.

 Prohibition of sale to minors

Tobacco companies undertake extra efforts to attract the young. Theimages advertisements are always in the nature that glamorizes the use of tobacco while the reality may be otherwise. One of the most important prohibitions with regards to checking the use of tobacco is prohibiting its sale to minors. How impressionable and vulnerable young children are is a well known fact. The main rules framed with regards to this are:

  • Display of statutory warning at points of sale of tobacco shall be the responsibility of the owner or the manager of the place. The warning board in an Indian language shall be of size 30 x 60 centimeters and placed at a prominent place in the premises;
  • Sale of tobacco to a person under 18 years is to be treated as a punishable offence;
  • It is the responsibility of the seller to ascertain the age of the buyer of tobacco products;

Certain matters in tobacco control require technical expertise like determining nicotine and tar levels and while others require a proactive society (not giving permission for tobacco advertisements on walls of private properties). In addition to these it is important to implement and enforce the laws in spirit and in letter.


Tobacco Control Legislation Act, 2003

  • meetunayyar-photo
  • meetunayyar
  • A lawyer by profession, social worker and a fighter against cancer