Delhi: 20,000 people fined for violating smoking ban
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Last Updated: Tuesday, May 31, 2011, 21:02
New Delhi: Cracking the whip, Delhi Government fined as many as 20,405 people, including 27 women, during 2010-11 for violating the ban on smoking in public places while around 3,200 errant tobacco vendors were penalised during the period.

Raid Squads of the health department inspected 1,75,906 places and an amount of Rs 18.22 lakh was collected as fine from the violators, Delhi Health Minister AK Walia said, giving details on the occasion of 'World No Tobbaco day' on Tuesday.

The World Health Organisation observes the day on May 31 every year, highlighting health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating policies to reduce consumption.

"During April 2010 to March 2011, a total of 20,405 people including 27 women and around 3,200 tobacco vendors were penalised," he said. Walia said around 3,000 people die everyday due to tobacco habits in India.

Vowing to intensify the crackdown against the violators of ban on smoking in public places, Walia exhorted smokers to leave the habit and Delhi is a pioneering state to implement tobacco control legislations.

"We are strongly committed to implement provisions of Delhi Prohibition of Smoking and Non Smoker's Health Protection Act 1996 and the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act 2003," he said.

Both the legislations have provision relating to ban in smoking in public places, prohibiting sale of tobacco products to the minors, prohibiting sale of tobacco products within hundred meter radius of a school and ban on advertisement of tobacco products.

"Use of tobacco is a major cause of lung disease, heart disease, asthma attack, respiratory diseases, chronic cough and tuberculosis," Walia said adding consumption of tobacco causes around 10 lakh deaths per year in the country. Walia requested smokers to shun their habit of smoking and make use of no smoking zones in case they still want to smoke.

The government is keen to virtually make Delhi smoke free with the intention to protect the citizen from the ill effects of exposure to tobacco smoke, to reduce the prevalence of smoking and to honour the rights of the citizens to breathe clean air.

In India, the world's second-largest producer and consumer of tobacco after China, over 241 million people are estimated to be using tobacco in some form or the other.

According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) 2009-2010, nearly 35 per cent of Indians (47 per cent of men and 20.3 per cent of women) are currently using some form of tobacco.


First Published: Tuesday, May 31, 2011, 21:02

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