The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the Centre and all states on a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking to ban cigarettes and bidis in the country.
The move is being seen as a major setback for smokers as well as people involved in tobacco trade.
According to the Cigarette and other Tobacco Product (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Supply and Distribution, COPTA) Act 2003, selling of tobacco and related products are banned within 100 meters of educational institutes, airports and to minors. But it was not strictly implemented so far.
Also, India had banned smoking in public places six years ago although violations have been numerous in the country.
While smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death worldwide, tobacco kills nearly 6 million people every year.