Centre asks States to make govt buildings tobacco free

In 2003, India enacted the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act to discourage the consumption of cigarettes and other tobacco products by imposing several restrictions. Representative image.

The Union Health Ministry has written to the states asking them to convert government buildings within their jurisdiction into tobacco free zones.

“In the interest of public health and with a view to keep the building clean, it would be appropriate that all government buildings and officers are made tobacco free in order to protect public health,” Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan wrote to the chief secretaries of all states.

She also wrote to the secretaries of other government departments with the same request.

In her November 20 letter, Preeti highlighted the case of Nirman Bhawan in Delhi, which houses the Union health ministry.

Since November 2017, the sprawling premise in central Delhi has been declared as tobacco free zone where smoking and spitting tobacco is prohibited and punishable.

Along with her letter, Preeti attached a copy of the official order on Nirman Bhawan and technical guidelines on how to make a building tobacco free.

In 2003, India enacted the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act to discourage the consumption of cigarettes and other tobacco products by imposing several restrictions.

The law seeks to protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke.

The tobacco law bars people to smoke in a public place, which is defined as any place to which the public has access.

They include public offices besides auditorium, hospital building, railway waiting room, amusement centers, court buildings, educational institutions, libraries, coffee houses, canteens, banks, clubs and open spaces surrounding hotels.

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Centre asks States to make govt buildings tobacco free

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