The News Minute | July 9, 2014 | 05:35 pm IST
Shimla: Sale of loose cigarettes will be banned soon in Himachal Pradesh to check minors from having access to tobacco, Health Minister Kaul Singh said here on Wednesday.
"The government will impose a complete ban and hefty fines would be imposed on violators," the minister told IANS. This would certainly help check its misuse by underage kids, he added.
Singh said the school and college-going often take advantage of buying a single cigarette as a full pack would cost them more.
The minister said that to discourage the people for smoking, the government was planning to increase value added tax (VAT) on cigarettes from 36 percent to 50 percent.
In the 2013 budget, the state government increased VAT on cigarettes and cigars from 18 to 36 percent and on 'bidis' from 11 to 22 percent.