The government will hold a meeting shortly with owners of hotels and restaurants on how to stop people from smoking and chewing tobacco on their premises.
Speaking on the sidelines of his weekly janata durbar, deputy chief minister Sushil Modi said: “For the good of the people of Bihar, our government has banned gutkha and pan masala containing tobacco or nicotine. There are over 51 lakh gutkha users in Bihar of whom more than 20 lakh and their families are suffering from the harmful effects of gutkha.”
The government, he said, wants to protect these families from the ill-effects of tobacco. “I will convene a meeting with hotel and restaurant-owners and tell them not to allow anyone to smoke and chew tobacco on the premises. If anybody is found doing so, they must be penalised. If tobacco usage continues, the hotel and restaurant will be penalised,” Modi said.
He pointed out that as a deterrent, tax on cigarettes has been increased from 13 per cent to 20 per cent.