1 June 2008
Graphic: Ajit KumarThe union health ministry will include more places under the no–smoking zones as it has notified revision of Rules on the Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places. Smoking will be banned at work places, shopping malls and cinema halls, airport lounges and even pubs and bars from October 2. Roads, however, do not find a mention in the list.
Announcing this on Saturday, union health minister Anbumani Ramadoss said his ministry would make sure that the ban is strictly enforced in all public places across the country including private and public offices, shopping malls, cinema halls, hotels – with or without lodging, boarding and guest houses, restaurants. The person in charge of the place where the smoker lights up will be held liable for violation.
“It’s my dream to chase all tobacco manufacturers out of India. I am sure I will make the country tobacco free, like our neighbouring Bhutan,” he said at a function organised by the Adyar Cancer Institute to mark the World No Tobacco day. “Every day is an anti–tobacco day for my ministry. Every minute we wage a war against tobacco lobbyists. At least 10 lakh new cases of cancer is detected in the country every year and more than 60% of it is related to use of tobacco,” he said.
He said the cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act of 2003 has not been implemented in letter and spirit in any of the states. “It continues to be a beautiful law on paper,” he said.
Besides an increase in the number of male smokers, more women are taking to smoking. “Women until now have been only chewing tobacco. Now, we find that 12% of them smoke. More worrisome is the fact that 14.1% school students have taken to tobacco use,” the minister said. He criticised filmmakers for glamorising smoking on screens. “Until some years ago, only the villans smoked. Today, the heros and heroines are seen smoking. Studies show that 50% of youth are inspired to smoke because of this,” he said.
Chennai mayor M. Subramanian said he would make all corporation schools smoke–free zones and ensure there is no sale of cigarettes in 100 meters radius. “It should have been done much earlier. But we don’t want to delay this any further,” he said. TNN
No smoking zones from Oct 2
Work places – private or government, cinema halls, shopping malls are all included in public places. Hotels – with or without lodging, boarding houses and guest houses. Restaurants including refreshment rooms, banquet halls, discotheques, canteen, coffee houses, pubs, bars, airport lounge and the like.
Where Smoking is Allowed