About 19,000 fined under anti-smoking law

May 25th, 2009 - 7:45 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) As many as 18,925 people were fined for violating the anti-smoking law in the past six months, the health ministry said here Monday.
Of the 18,925 people fined, Tamil Nadu topped the list as the highest number of challans were issued in the state. At least 9,648 people were fined in Tamil Nadu followed by Delhi where the authorities booked 3,671 people, a statement said.

The authorities collected over Rs.2.5 million as fine from the violators after Oct 2 last year when the anti-smoking law was implemented. The law prohibits smoking at public places.

Violation of the ban, imposed under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003, attracts a fine of up to Rs.200.

Smoking has been prohibited at all places to which the public has access, including auditoriums, health institutions, government buildings, restaurants, courts, public conveyances, public transport, stadiums, railway stations, bus stops, workplaces, shopping malls, refreshment rooms, discotheques, pubs and airport lounges.

In order to strengthen the reporting mechanism of violations and to encourage non-smokers and public at large to report violations, the health ministry also started a national toll free helpline 1800-110-456.

India is the second largest consumer of tobacco products in the world. Every year eight to nine lakh people die because of tobacco related diseases. Almost 40 percent of all health problems and 50 percent of all cancers are related to tobacco use in the country.

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