India to raise age for tobacco purchases, ban single sales

India would have the world's highest minimum legal age for buying cigarettes if it approves plans to increase the limit from 18 to 25Health campaigners Wednesday welcomed India’s plans to raise the age for tobacco purchases to 25 and ban unpackaged cigarettes, hailing them as a major step towards stopping nearly one million tobacco-related deaths a year. Health Minister J. P. Nadda told parliament on Tuesday he was drawing up legislation to raise the minimum legal age for buying tobacco products, currently 18, and to force vendors only to sell full packets of cigarettes. The plans, proposed by an expert panel, will need final approval by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet and parliament to become law. “This is a very welcome move by the government,” Binoy Mathew, spokesman for the non-profit Voluntary Health Association of India, told AFP.

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