Rs 2.75 lakh collected as fine from smokers

Rs 2.75 lakh collected as fine from smokers

Replying to a question at a “World No Tobacco Day” function here on Monday, Dr S Prakash, Head of State Anti-Tobacco Cell said the ban on smoking in public places was being effectively implemented.

“The Anti-Smoking Act clearly specifies public places and if anybody is found smoking in the premises of public places, he/she is to be levied a fine of Rs 200,” he said.
Dr Prakash said the enforcement of the ban requires a much larger intervention to curb the public health hazard. Nearly 865 cases have been pending in the courts.

Health services come under State government whereas the Union government has framed the provisions of the Act and hence there was a confusion whether to notify the Act or not, he added.

Normally, the person in charge of the public place is responsible to collect fine.  Explaining the reason why collecting fine is not executed efficiently, Dr Riyaz Basha, nodal officer for district Anti-Tobacco Cell, said: "Unless a  person with uniform demands to pay fine, smokers do not take the ban on smoking in public places seriously. Designated officers must be appointed to collect fine in all public places."

On the other hand, Bangalore Medical College, one of the institutions under Quit Tobacco International in a survey conducted on medical students gas found that 13 per cent of them were smokers with a male-female ratio of 7:6.

Besides this, the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) has also planned an action plan programme (APP) in the financial programme 2010-11 though Information Education and Communication (IEC) to create awareness of the ill effects of tobacco in rural areas.
DH News Service

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