You cannot buy loose cigarettes in Karnataka anymore. The State government has banned the sale of loose cigarettes in a bid to discourage smokers.
A notification issued by the Under Secretary to the Department of Health and Family Welfare states that sale of loose cigarettes, beedis and chewing tobacco violates Sections 7, 8 and 9 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA) 2003.
Persons violating the ban are liable for punishment under Section 20 to COTPA, which stipulates imprisonment up to one year or with fine up to ₹1,000 or both in the case of first conviction. A repeat offence stipulates imprisonment up to two years and fine up to ₹3,000.
The State's Anti-Tobacco Cell and the Department of Health and Family Welfare took a decision to ban the sale of loose cigarettes, beedis and chewing tobacco in view of the amendment to the Legal Metrology Act by the Centre.