500 people fined for violating anti-smoking law in Tamil Nadu

October 3rd, 2008 - 10:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Oct 3 (IANS) At least 500 people were fined all over Tamil Nadu for violating the smoking ban Friday, the police said.Over 110 persons were fined in Chennai alone, police sources added.

Rs.100,000 were collected as fine.

Cigarette sales were reported to have dipped by almost 40 percent in many parts, shopkeepers told IANS.

“Our sales have dropped by 40 percent in both the filtered and non-filter varieties. It is time to explore possibilities of selling other products,” said Mohammed Hamza, a cigarette vendor.

Tinsel town, however, had a mixed view.

“Now that we are prohibited from depicting anyone smoking on screen, how are we going to depict negative characters on screen?” wondered Vijay Murali, a film producer.

“Show business will find other methods of depicting negative traits of villains,” actor Prashant said.

“While I welcome the ban, stopping films from completely showing anyone smoking is akin to fettering freedom of expression. Frankly, I fail to understand why smoking cannot be shown on screen with a warning,” said lyricist Pirai Soodan.

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