NEWDELHI: Tobacco sellers must register with the local civic authority and they can’t sell candies and colas on the side that attract nonsmokers to the shop, the government proposed in an attempt to reduce tobacco abuse in India.

The Union health ministry wrote on September 21 to the states to develop a mechanism to provide permission or authorisation through the municipal authority to retail shops selling tobacco products such as cigarette, bidi, chewable gutkha and khaini.

“The idea is to track every single shop selling tobacco products by making them register with the local municipal authority. Government should be able to identify all cigarette shops running anywhere in the country,” said Arun Jha, economic advisor with the ministry.

The focus is to discourage tobacco abuse among people, especially children.

“The sale of tobacco products to minors must be tracked and there should be no advertisement of tobacco products. These shops must not sell non-tobacco products such as toffees, chips, biscuits, soft drinks, etc. that may attract non-users,” Jha said.

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