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Kerala trade union bans cigarettes


Saji B Nair,CNN-IBN
Jun 17, 2007 at 06:04am IST

Calicut (Kerala): It's time to stub out that cigarette, or at least that's what Kerala's Trader's Union would have you believe.

The Vyapari Vyavasai Ekopana Samiti in Kerala has stopped sale and distribution of cigarettes from Monday, demanding that tobacco companies pay the 12 per cent Value Added Tax on cigarettes imposed by the government.

And even though many retailers are still selling cigarettes, the union is confident the strike will succeed.

Says the chairman of the union, T Nasarudheen, "The strike will come in to full swing only on Tuesday or Wednesday because first we will stop wholesalers then semi-wholesalers and then the retailers."

But many retailers aren't even aware there's a strike on. Almost every retailer has a stock of cigarettes, which is now likely to be sold at a much higher price. Shopkeepers say that they are just finishing stocks.

However, there are many people who welcome the ban saying that it's a good thing and that the younger generation should not get into the habit.

Nonetheless, smokers are still getting their fix as cigarettes are still available in small shops. It seems that selling cigarettes, like smoking, is obviously a hard habit to break.

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