Which state in India first banned smoking in Public?
Public smoking was made illegal in the history of the world first by a Division Bench of Kerala High Court in 1999. The bench headed by Dr. Justice K. Narayana Kurup, noted that smoking at public places violates Article 21 of the Constitution and is hence unconstitutional.
The bench also observed that smoking in public places “falls within the mischief of the penal provisions relating to public nuisance as contained in the Indian Penal Code and also the definition of air pollution as contained in the statutes dealing with the protection and preservation of the environment, in particular, the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution), Act 1981.”
Murli S. Deora v. Union of India
Supreme Court also recognised the issue of smoking in public places and its ill effects on passive smokers. The apex court bench prohibited smoking in public places on 2 November 2001.
“Tobacco is universally regarded as one of the major public health hazards and is responsible directly or indirectly for an estimated eight lakh deaths annually in the country. It has also been found that treatment of tobacco related diseases and the loss of productivity caused therein cost the country almost Rs. 13,500 crores annually, which more than offsets all the benefits accruing in the form of revenue and employment generated by tobacco industry,” noted SC bench.
Many organisation have been working to bring laws against smoking in India. The first legislation linked to tobacco was the Cigarettes (Regulation of Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 1975, which mandated specific statutory health warnings on cigarette packs.
Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 was introduced in 2003 and came into effect in 2004. It prohibited the sale of tobacco products in an area within 100 yards of any educational institution.
Nationwide Ban on Public Smoking
On 2 October 2008, smoking in public places was prohibited nationwide under COTPA.
Public Places include auditoriums, cinemas, hospitals, public transport (aircraft, buses, trains, metros, monorails, taxis) and their related facilities (airports, bus stands/stations, railway stations), restaurants, hotels, bars, pubs, amusement centres, offices (government and private), libraries, courts, post offices, markets, shopping malls, canteens, refreshment rooms, banquet halls, discothèques, coffee houses, educational institutions, and parks.
Smoking in airports, restaurants, bars, pubs, discothèques, and some other enclosed workplaces is allowed if they provide designated separate smoking areas.
What Is The Penalty For Smoking In Public Places?
First conviction – Up to 2 years imprisonment or with fine which can extend to Rs. 1000
subsequent conviction – up to 5 years imprisonment or with fine which can extend to Rs. 5000
Public Smoking Laws In India – Mandatory “No Smoking” Board
It is mandatory to display a sign of ‘no smoking’ on a board in public places with a warning ‘No Smoking Area- Smoking here is an offence’. The size of the board should be 60 cm in length and 30 cm in width. Its background should be white and the warning should be written in English language and one Indian language according to the respective location. The board should be at every entrance gate and every floor of a public place. Name of the designated officer should also be mentioned on the board to whom the complaint is to be submitted in case of any violation.
First City To Become Smoke-Free
Chandigarh became India’s first city to become smoke-free in 2007. The architect behind Smoke-Free Chandigarh Hemant Goswami was awarded the Global Smoke-Free Partnership Award for the initiative.
E-cigarette and Hookahs
Import, sales, and consumption of e-cigarettes is banned in India.
Punjab was the first state to ban vaping in 2014.
Hookah bars are banned in
- Jaipur (Rajasthan)
- Panchkula (Haryana)
- Indore (Madhya Pradesh)
- Ludhiana (Punjab)
- Faridabad (Haryana)
As per World Health Organisation,
- India is a home to 12% of the world’s smokers
- India is the country with the second most number of smokers in the world after China.
- There are over 120 million smokers in India
- Over 1 million deaths every year due to tobacco related illness
- Half of all Indian adults are exposed to second-hand smoke at home.
- Upto 60% cancers among Indian males are Tobacco related