GUWAHATI: The Consumers' Legal Protection Forum (CLPF) on Tuesday has stated that a new report has revealed that tobacco companies are systematically targeting youths as young as eight years old in India, by selling and advertising tobacco products near educational institutions.
Over 72 per cent point of sale around educational institutions in 25 cities were found to be displaying cigarettes, bidis and smokeless tobacco products near candies and sweets at the eye level of children. These were selling single stick cigarettes and offering free/ discounted tobacco products to school children.
Including Assam, a total of 1011 educational institutions and 885 points of sale were investigated for this study using a mobile app in 25 cities across 10 States of India by Consumer Voice and Voluntary Health Association of India.
According to the study, a total of 885 points of sale were identified to be selling tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions. This is a violation of section 6 (b) of COTPA, the CLPF stated in a release. Out of the 885 points of sale investigated, 640 (72.32 %) points of sale displayed cigarettes near candies and sweets to attract children, 669 (75.59%) points of sale had displayed tobacco products at the eye level of the child, the release added.