The Patan High Court on Friday stayed the decision of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City to impose a complete ban on the sale of tobacco products packed in plastics.
A divisional bench of judges Janak Pandey and Brajesh Pyakurel issued an interim order not to implement the decision while responding to a writ petition filed against the decision of the metropolis.
A tobacco company had filed the writ petition at the high court seeking an interim order not to implement the decision.
Following a direction by Mayor Balendra Shah, the metropolis had announced a complete ban on the sale of tobacco products packed in plastics in the areas under its jurisdiction from Wednesday. The decision was in line with Section 42 of the Public Health Act enforced this year, said Ram Prasad Poudel, chief of the municipal health department.
The decision to ban tobacco in the city, however, is not unprecedented, as it is the fifth such announcement in the past seven years. Given the local unit’s failure to implement its announcements in the past, there is scepticism if the latest decision would not meet the same fate.
The court stayed the decision saying that tobacco companies are making necessary preparations for packing tobacco in biodegradable packages.
Tobacco use is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases (NCD) including cancers, cardiovascular diseases, chronic lung diseases and diabetes. It is the world’s leading cause of preventable deaths and kills nearly eight million people every year.