ISLAMABAD: The online registration of tobacco vendors started in the capital on Friday to curb the practice of tobacco selling to the youth below the age of 18 years.

Speaking at a ceremony, Excise and Taxation Director Bilal Azam said the registration of tobacco vendors would also curb the practice of selling smuggled tobacco besides the sale of loose cigarettes and near the premises of educational institutes.

After the registration licences will be issued to the vendors, he said, adding the vendors will also be asked to submit an affidavit that they will refrain from selling smuggled tobacco, loose cigarettes, near the educational institutes and to below 18 years old. Besides, they will also informed people that smoking is injurious to health.

The registration will also help the excise department to monitor the tobacco vendors, Mr Bilal said, adding a database will be made through the registration.

Pims Joint Executive Director Dr Minhajus Siraj said the capital administration was requested to implement the Tobacco Act 1958. Six countries are following the act and now the United State has also started working on the tobacco vendor licence, he added.

Under the act, physical inspection of tobacco vendors has been started in the capital, he said. As a result, there was 35pc reduction in the number of tobacco sale points.

Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Mohammad Hamza Shafqaat said: “We want to save our youth from tobacco and the registration will help us monitor the practice of selling same to the youth.”

Besides, it will also curb black economy generated from smuggled cigarettes and illegal trade, he added.

Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2021

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