India to raise smoking age

Health campaigners have welcomed India's plans to raise the age for tobacco purchases to 25 and ban unpackaged cigarettes, hailing them as a major step towards stopping nearly one million tobacco-related deaths a year.

Health Minister JP Nadda told parliament on Tuesday he was drawing up legislation to raise the minimum legal age for buying tobacco products, currently 18, and to force vendors only to sell full packets of cigarettes.

The plans, proposed by an expert panel, will need final approval by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet and parliament to become law.

"This is a very welcome move by the

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