Thiruvananthapuram: No shop within a 500-metre radius of schools in Kerala can now sell tobacco products, said a state minister.
Tobacco products include cigarettes, beedis and other items containing tobacco.
Following a high level meeting with police officials, state Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala told reporters Friday that the new order comes into force with immediate effect.
"The earlier rule was 100 metres and the new one comes under our government`s new programme called `Safe Campus, Clean Campus`. Strict action will be taken against those violating this new rule," he said.
The minister said: "Since the `Safe Campus, Clean Campus` programme was launched a month back, 13,950 shops were raided, 2,444 cases registered and 2,346 people arrested. With this new 500-metre rule, more raids will be conducted and action taken against violators," added Chennithala.
He said a major campaign against the use of tobacco products through the "Safe Campus, Clean Campus" programme is being launched and superstar Mammootty will be its brand ambassador.
Chennithala also issued a stern warning to the state`s luxury hotels where drugs are believed to be used freely during parties. "We have intelligence reports that plush hotels and resorts in popular tourist destinations are holding `drug parties`. There will be no mercy shown to such law breakers," he said.