Public exposed to untested tobacco products
The public might be exposed to excessive content of nicotine or tar in tobacco products as the rules framed by the Government to check the ingredients have not been notified yet.
The reason was that there were not enough testing facilities with the Food and Drug laboratories, Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha today.
The legislative content for testing the contents of tobacco products is laid down in the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products(Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act(COPTA), 2003.
Section 7(5) of COPTA says: " No person shall, directly or indirectly produce supply or distribute cigarettes or any other tobacco products unless every package of cigarettes or any other tobacco products produced, supplied or distributed by him indicates thereon, or on its label, the nicotine and tar contents on each cigarettes or as the case may be on other tobacco products along with maximum permissible limits thereof.
"However, the said section has not been notified in the absence of adequate testing facilities, since only limited testing facilities are available with the Food and Drug Laboratories," he said.
Mr Azad said the Ministry had now identified one apex and four regional laboratories for providing such facilities.
These are National Institute of Biologicals, NOIDA, Regional Drug Testing Laboratories, Mumbai, Central Drug Testing Laboratory, Chennai and Food and Research and Standardisation Laboratory, Ghaziabad.