New Delhi: Delhi government has challaned 68,959 men and 126 women for smoking in public places since it was prohibited on October 2, 2008.
The State Tobacco Control Cell has collected fine amount of Rs 57.92 lakhs from people violating the rules till September 30.
According to the Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI), data from the state tobacco control cell shows that Delhi Government has conducted 1,27,330 raids at public places and 2,55,011 raids at public service vehicle.
"The implementation of the no smoking rules in Delhi shows the government's commitment towards tobacco control. However, there is an urgent need to take stringent action against those clubs, hookah bars, and restaurants etc which are flouting the law.
"It should also be emulated by other states to achieve the goal of making the country smoke free. In addition, the Government must ensure that the money collected as fines should be spent on tobacco control and public health issues," said Bhavna Mukhopadhyay, Executive Director, VHAI.
Further, a survey on prevalence of tobacco usage in the city recorded that 41 per cent males and 3.7 per cent females in Delhi use some kind of tobacco product.
Around 30 per cent males and 1.1 per cent females smoke regularly in Delhi, while 17 per cent male and 3 per cent females use chewing form of tobacco products.
NGO VHAI is a federation of 27 State Voluntary Health Associations, linking together more than 4,500 health and development institutions across the country.