Kerala tobacco sales order: Chandy threatens stern action

May 16th, 2012 - 5:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, May 16 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said his government would take serious action against officials for issuing a wrong government order, allowing sale of tobacco products near schools in the state.

“We in June last year issued a government order prohibiting shops located within 400 metres from any school from selling tobacco products. The central government rule prohibits selling of tobacco products within just 100 metres of schools,” said Chandy.

He added that in May this year the state’s local self government department issued a new order which read that tobacco products could be sold in shops outside of 100 metres.

“Only the cabinet can revoke the decision to increase the area from 100 to 400 metres. We see this new order as a serious violation and we have asked the secretary and deputy secretary to give an explanation. Once we hear from them, appropriate action would be taken as this is a serious error,” said Chandy.

In a 1999 ruling, Justice K.Narayana Kurup of the Kerala High Court had banned smoking in public places.

Studies have found that 10.7 percent of the adult population in Kerala is hooked to tobacco.

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