The present ban on Smoking in public has crossed many hurdles before it is being implemented.
The Supreme Court of India permitted the implementation of the ban, vide a dismissal of petitions filed by the ITC and the Indian Hotels Association to stay the Government’s proposed ban on “Smoking in Public Places”.
As per the present ban implemented for the welfare of the people of India, Smoking is banned in:-
- government offices, courts,
- private offices, educational institutions, libraries,
- hospitals, health centers,
- auditoriums, theaters, stadiums,
- shopping centers, shopping malls,
- hotels, canteens,pubs, coffee houses, bars, banquet halls, discotheques,
- bus stops, railway stations, airport lounges and
In the initial phase of implementation of the ban,people violating the ban will be given a warning and thereafter they will be fined 200 rupees.
As per the ban implemented, smokers can smoke:
- on roads,
- inside their cars,
- or in their homes
The present ban is based on an assumption that if and when people smoke while walking or standing on the roads, smoke exhaled by them will spread in air and other people on the roads/non-smokers do not become ‘secondary smokers’ and the impact is more while smoking inside closed environment than in roads or streets. This is a matter to be discussed and studied scientifically.
However, the ban on smoking in the above mentioned places, as it is implemented now, is a good beginning of the repeated efforts of the Government of India to take a strong action in discouraging smoking to save deaths due to the dangerous
“side effects of smoking.”
Most of the European countries and some cities of USA have implemented ban on smoking in public successfully.
They have started reaping the benefits of the ban, revealed by the reduced hospitalization/deaths due to smoking.
However, in Asian countries, including India,( except in some countries like Singapore and Thailand, ) the successful implementation of ban on smoking has been difficult, so far.
In countries like India, people quit smoking only when they become fatally sick and are advised/ warned by the doctors to quit smoking.
In the year 2003, an act to ban smoking titled,
“The Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act-2003.”
had been enacted to ban smoking. The act could not be implemented successfully and now, the Government of India has revised the rules of the act in the above manner and launched.
The observers and experts while welcoming the ban, feel that it will be difficult to implement the ban successfully, and the number of smokers at home will be increased which will affect the members of the family, especially the wives and the children.
Some people are optimistic and feel that because of the ban, smoking will be reduced not only in public places, but also in homes, and heart and lung disease and the deaths due to smoking will be minimized.
“Quit Tobacco.” /”Stop Smoking for Good”
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