Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala capital may turn into a tobacco-free city soon with city police taking several initiatives, including strict implementation of anti-tobacco laws.
Close on the heels of the state government increasing the tax on cigarette, the city police has joined hands with "janamaithri" personnel, the community police wing of the state police, for strict enforcement of anti-tobacco laws by declaring major institutions and its premises here "smoke-free zones".
As part of the move, the Medical College hospital and its premises were declared 'smoke free' area recently by banning consumption and sale of tobacco products there.
City Police Commissioner H Venkitesh said major state-run firms and their premises here would be declared smoke-free zones and a strict vigil would put in place to monitor violations.
"The aim of the project is to declare the capital city tobacco-free. We already have anti-tobacco laws and we are now planning for their stringent enforcement," Venkitesh told a news agency.
"We are targeting government hospitals, schools and other state-run firms in the initial phase. We hope that we can achieve it by step-by-step banning consumption and sale of illegal tobacco products in selected places by declaring the areas as 'smoke-free zones," he said.
Kerala had banned the manufacturing, sale and storage of pan masala containing tobacco or nicotine in 2012.
"Cases will be registered against all violators - both smokers and vendors who sell tobacco products - based on various sections of anti-tobacco laws," he said.