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India: Not the first to ban smoking

October 01, 2008
Smoking kills. That's the message countries around the world are trying to put across their citizens -- some by strictly enforcing anti-smoking law, some by word of mouth.

India will be next to join the list of about 64 countries where smoking publicly will been banned, from October 2.

Smoking will be banned in all public places and private offices. Establishments cannot even have designated rooms for smoking. The ban also includes hotels and restaurants. Only hotels with a seating capacity of more than 30 can have a separate enclosure for smokers.

The government is planning to authorise gazetted officers, including sub-inspectors, railway ticket checkers and school headmasters besides NGO officials to collect fines from people who violate the ban.

Though in the beginning, the fine would be only Rs 200, the government is trying to amend the act and in future the fine may go up to Rs 1,000.

Image: A man smokes on a Delhi sidewalk.

Photograph: Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images

Also read: In India, people hardly quit smoking. Blame literacy!

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