Ban on Smoking.. I’m Lovin’ It!
“An Act on no smoking in public places has been brought out by the Centre two-and-a-half years ago, but it remained only on paper. Now, we have made a modification in the already enforced rule and from October 2, 2008, the modified rule will be enforced strongly across the country,” Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare of India, Anbumani Ramadoss said.
While non Smokers welcome the ruling, Smokers (Estimated about 120 million in India) are looking for places to smoke legally..
“As per the revised Rules, smoking is banned in shopping malls, cinema halls, public/private work place, hotels, banquet halls, discotheques, canteen, coffee house, pubs, bars, airport lounge, railway stations”, Dr.Ramadoss said.
The new revised rules that will be enforced from October 2,2008, allows every person who is a part of a government agency to collect the fine. Even corporate companies are now allowed to participate in the Anti-Smoking campaigns by allowing the management to fine their employees for smoking in a more public place. This comes as a set back to most cigarette manufacturing companies, who predict a downfall in sales by at least 20 percent.
As most countries clamped down on smoking in recent years, Indians have been allowed to puff freely on sidewalks, playgrounds, railway stations etc. Not now, A fine of Rs.200 (US $5 approx) will be collected.
Officials hope an extensive anti-smoking campaign and tighter enforcement will make the ban successful, but the country’s health minister, Anubamani Ramadoss, knows getting people to quit won’t happen overnight.
“This is going to be a continuous process,” he said.
People can still smoke in homes, parks and roads, provided no one around them complains. If a complaint is registered, a fine will be collected. The ruling also allows Hotels and Bars which have over 30 rooms to provide separate smoking areas to the customers. Most hotels in the city have already formed separate smoking zones for the customers. “These rooms are completely air-conditioned and have a separate ventilator to smoke all the ‘Smoke’ out of the room into the atmosphere.” says a hotel owner from chennai. “Customers are also allowed to carry drinks to these rooms, as most customers like to drink while smoking.” adds another Hotel owner.
Shops are allowed to sell cigarettes, but if a customer is found smoking anywhere close to the shop, the owner will be fined Rs.500 for the violation. Shop owners now refuse to sell cigarettes unless the customer is carrying it back home to smoke.
The government hopes that this ban will reduce the number of deaths caused by cancer due to smoking and Tobacco. Dr. Ramadoss has also issued a public notice to the Bollywood industry to stop showcasing smoking scenes in movies. Earlier, Shahrukh Khan was issued a notice by the Heath ministry for smoking on screen. He was then let off the fine, after having apologized to the concerned department in written.
Shahrukh Khan seemed amazed by the ruling,”It’s better to ban cigarettes on the whole and punish people who use them illegally.” he said, speaking to the news reporter from CNN IBN.
I have hated people who have been smoking cigarettes when talking to me. The smell is pathetic, and i wonder whats so good about cigarettes that they do not want to leave. I ask this question, and the reply that i receive is even more interesting. “I want to experience everything in life, Smoking cigarettes is only a small thing” they say. Yeah, why not.. Get infected with AIDS virus now fool! While some do it for style, or keeping up with lifestyle of people around them. “Just because he smokes, I have to!”..”Just for Fun yaar”.. What?? Gimme a break! It’s okay to do it once or twice.. But if u r smoking over 3 cigarettes a day, That’s no reason to smoke! Jut admit it.. It’s a Habit!
I wonder what ur thoughts are about this ruling, Make it a part of the comments and let this blog grow! All Kudos to the government to enforce the ruling on a day when the Mahatma was born, A person who never smoked.
Rules have been made, but it’s time for the government to make sure that people are not let off. This presents an opportunity for people with powers, Policemen would take ample bribes to let people off the hefty fines. It’s time the government start giving incentives to these policemen. For every case registered for smoking, the policemen should be given Rs.50 as a incentive. This motivates the police to look for more cases, thereby forcing people to follow the laws. Like ICC which tries new rules only for some series, The government should employ the incentive policy for smoking ban, If everything is set right, the policy can be used on a bigger platform. This eventually should eliminate corruption from the country!
PS: It’s now time to think about banning ‘Drinking’.. The lives affected or even taken away by this habit is ridiculously more than Smoking.. But that’s a lot difficult to do.. Few pointers to make here, will do it someother time.. 😀