Neten Dorji | Trashiyangtse

Deliberating on the increasing sale of tobacco in the dzongkhag, Trashiyangtse dzongkhag tshogdu (DT) asked police to monitor the illegal sale strictly.

DT members also committed to monitor the illegal sale of tobacco in the gewogs.

Local leaders say consumption of tobacco and illegal sale increased after the government distributed it freely.

A mangmi said by distributing the tobacco products, the government failed to implement Tobacco Control Act.

A police official said the government distributed the tobacco to curb illegal movement of people across the border and to prevent the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

“We received complaints about people selling tobacco illegally but people only report based on hearsay,” he said.

He urged local leaders to cooperate with police to control the sale of tobacco in the black market.  “It’s everybody’s responsibility to control the illegal sale.”

Police explained that sale of tobacco products is still banned and they are strictly monitoring in the locality.

Some members expressed that opening tobacco outlets and collecting tax on the product would reduce the price in the market. “The high rate in black market is affecting people with low income,” a member said.

The member also said the tobacco Act should be amended.

Meanwhile, the tobacco control Act allows a person to import tobacco and its products for personal consumption upon paying the tax.

The tobacco control amendment Act 2014 states that an individual could bring in either 800 sticks of cigarettes or 1200 or 750 grams of other tobacco products in a month after paying tax.