Take a drag at own risk in bus, pay if caught smoking

Take a drag at own risk in bus, pay if caught smoking

Be careful the next time you choose to smoke in the bus. On the month’s dry day for tobacco, the Delhi government is planning to intensify raids to clamp down on tobacco sale in the city.

To bring down smoking in the transport department, the Directorate of Health Services (DHS) has asked the public to come up with complaints on the toll free number 1800110456 or send an e-mail to ntcpdelhistate@gmail.com if anybody smokes in a Delhi Transport Corporation bus.

“If any staff is smoking in the bus or any other passenger, a co-passenger can immediately call us up or send an e-mail. In this case, we require certain details like the time, the route number of the bus. We will track the bus and issue challans. This initiative has been on for the past four months now but hasn’t been publicised yet,” said Dr S K Arora, Additional Director (Health) of the Tobacco Control Programme, DHS.

The conductor and the driver will be mainly held responsible. Though the campaign hasn’t gained momentum, the department is sensitising taxi, truck and bus drivers to give up all tobacco products.     

The DHS has also planned extensive awareness campaigns on Friday.

“The department will conduct raids in West Delhi and book those selling tobacco as the last day of the month is being observed as the dry day for tobacco. There will be several groups that will hold awareness campaigns all over the city to sensitise people against the use of tobacco,” said Dr Arora.

The department has identified four departments which are to be made tobacco-free at the earliest. These are the education, medical, transport and police departments. These will include all schools, colleges, coaching centres, hospitals, medical dispensaries, police stations, DTC buses and depots.

“This means the staff at the respective departments will first be sensitised to not smoke or chew tobacco. Nodal officer has been appointed for each department who are training other officers to sensitise the staff in general,” said Dr Arora.

Besides, signages of anti-smoking are also being installed in all these buildings to deter people from smoking.

Though the department is campaigning through metro, hoardings and through advertisements in the print medium, it is struggling to keep up a sustained campaign as it incurs huge funds.

However, it is also using the social media, including WhatsApp into use, to persuade people to not only give up smoking but other chewable products like pan masala, gutkha.