In a bid to stop ghutka and cigarettes being available among school children, the Maharashtra government has decided to ban the tobacco products within 100 meters of such institutions and recommended that any vendor caught selling cigarettes and ghutka within that range should be fined heavily.
Commenting on the decision, the Minister of State for Home Satej Patil said that such a law is in effect since 2003 but it has not been implemented effectively so far. Patil went on to say that apart from the police, other authorities such as school principals and librarians can also impose a fine of Rs 300 on vendors who violate the law.
"According to a provision in the Cigarettes and other tobacco products Act, 2003 (COPTA), sale and advertisement of tobacco and related products are banned within 100 meters of educational institutes and airports. But it was not strictly implemented so far", Patil added.