New Delhi: Despite the ban on smoking in public places, people continue breaking the law and as many as 21,600 violators were fined in the national capital over the last 15 months, according to Delhi Health Minister A.K. Walia.
"Between January 2010 and March 2011, a total of 181,000 places were inspected, and 21,600 persons and 3,200 tobacco vendors were fined," Walia said Saturday.
The minister said this while inaugurating a month-long "No Tobacco" campaign in the city.
Launched by NGO Bhagidari Jan Sahyog Samiti in association with the directorate of health services, the campaign will include a number of programmes such as debates, a poster competition, sports meet and a rally.
Walia urged people to avoid smoking.
"Around 3,000 people die everyday due to tobacco habits in India. It causes 10 lakh deaths per year in the country," he said.
The minister said that Delhi is a pioneering state in tobacco control legislations such as the Delhi Prohibition of Smoking and Non Smoker`s Health Protection Act 1996 and the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003.
The laws have provisions related to banning smoking in public places, prohibiting sale of tobacco products by and to minors, prohibiting sale of tobacco products within 100 metres of schools and banning advertisements of tobacco products.