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Press Room

Statement from Nandita Murukutla, Vice President, Global Policy and Research, Vital Strategies, on the ban on sale of loose cigarettes and bidis by the Government of Maharashtra, India.

“Vital Strategies commends the government of Maharashtra for banning the sale of loose cigarettes and bidis. With tobacco use among nearly 267 million people in India, combatting the negative impact of tobacco on health and economy must be a top priority.

Single cigarettes and bidis make it easier and more affordable for children and adults to access deadly tobacco products. They also do not carry mandated health warnings, which are known to be one of the most effective and low-cost strategies to curb tobacco use. Over half of current cigarette (61.9%) and bidi (53.8%) smokers report that graphic pack warnings encouraged them to think about quitting.

We are encouraged by the government of Maharashtra state’s swift action banning the sale of loose cigarettes and bidis. It’s an effort that will protect people’s health and save lives. We hope their leadership emboldens all states to do the same.”

About Vital Strategies

Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. We work with governments and civil society in 73 countries to design and implement evidence-based strategies that tackle their most pressing public health problems. Our goal is to see governments adopt promising interventions at scale as rapidly as possible. To find out more, please visit or Twitter @VitalStrat.

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Media Contact:

Christina Honeysett, Vital Strategies:; +1.914.424.3356