Assam became the first Indian state to ban non-smoking tobacco after Governor Janaki Ballav Patnaik gave his assent to the Assam Health (Prohibition of Manufacturing, Trade, Advertisement, Storage, Distribution, Sale and Consumption of Zarda, Gutkha, Pan masala Containing Tobacco) Bill 2013.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma confirmed that the Bill has gone into effect from Thursday, February 13, and any found to be manufacturing, advertising, storing or distributing non-smoking tobacco will have to pay a fine between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 5 lakh and also face up to seven years of imprisonment while those caught consuming non-smoking tobacco will have to pay a fine of Rs 1,000 for the first offence and Rs 2,000 for each subsequent offence.
"We have received the Governor's assent to the Bill. Today we will notify it and it will become an Act. From tomorrow (Thursday), all non-smoking tobacco products will be banned in Assam", Sharma said.