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Cigarette and other Tobacco Products smoking. Ban issue w.e.f. 02nd October, 2008. MAIN GIST. Smoking is to be banned in work places/offices all over India w.e.f. 02nd October, 2008 under the fresh set of official guidelines prepared on prohibition of smoking in public places.

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Cigarette and other Tobacco Products smoking

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Cigarette and other tobacco products smoking l.jpg

Cigarette and other Tobacco Products smoking

Ban issue w.e.f. 02nd October, 2008


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MAIN GIST

  • Smoking is to be banned in work places/offices all over India w.e.f. 02nd October, 2008 under the fresh set of official guidelines prepared on prohibition of smoking in public places.


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REGULATION/LAW/RULE BOOK

  • Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act-2003

  • The Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places Rules, 2008 vide Notification No.GSR417(E) dated 30th May, 2008 issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.


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NOTIFICATION SAYS

  • Cigarette users could smoke either at home (i.e. one’s residence) or at road, as public places would cover workplaces, shopping malls, cinema halls, hotels (with or without lodging), boarding houses, guest houses, refreshment rooms, restaurants, banquet halls, discotheques, canteens, coffee houses, pubs, bars and airport lounges. The important announcement came on Tuesday, the 09th September, 2008.


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INITIATOR OF THIS BAN

  • Union Minister for health and Family welfare,Shri Anbumani Ramadoss.

  • His words “There is a beautiful law on paper. It is the duty of the states to implement it but none of the States is enthusiastic. When a country like Bhutan could ban selling of tobacco products, India too should be able to do it.”


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INTERPRETATION

  • “Public Places” = PUBLIC PLACES have been defined as areas where the general public can visit. For example: an auditorium, hospitals, amusement centres, restaurants, court buildings, educational institutions, libraries, public conveyances, work places, shopping malls and cinema halls, etc.

  • “OPEN SPACES” are excluded but not an open auditorium, a stadium, railway station or a bus stop and similar places visited by public.


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EXCEPTION TO THE RULE

  • Hotels with 30 rooms or more, restaurants with sitting capacity of 30 people or more and airports can have a smoking area on the condition that they comply with the rules viz. separately ventilated smoking room, not be established at the entrance or exit, distinctively marked as smoking areas, established in areas that need not be accessed by the public.


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EXPLAINATION

  • The new rule will also expand the definition of public places from government buildings to include all office buildings, hospitals, schools, colleges, railway stations, airports, bus stands, hotels and restaurants.

  • No more designated smoking areas in workplaces.


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EXPLAINATION

  • You can no longer enjoy that puff in a furtive corner or in any other designated smoking zone of your office, be it a public or private enterprise, from October 2, 2008.

  • Smoking would be permitted only on the roads and in open spaces.


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EXPLAINATION

  • Government, public and private offices cannot have designated smoking areas and the rule also applies to small cafes, restaurants, pubs and even discotheques. Workplaces to become 'no smoking' zones.

  • Blanket ban on indoor smoking.


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PURPOSE

  • The intention behind the aforesaid ban is that creating 100 per cent smoke-free environment is the only way out, as ventilation, air filtration and use of designated smoking areas have repeatedly failed to provide clean air.


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PURPOSE

  • “Public places in India have already been made smoke-free, and we are trying to provide the employees working in offices a healthy atmosphere and pure air by banning smoking in the workplaces as well. There is no safe level of exposure to toxicity in tobacco smoke. Since ventilation, air filtration and use of designated smoking zones have persistently failed in providing clean air, maintaining a cent per cent smoke-free atmosphere is the only way out” says Union Minister.


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RESPONSIBILITY/ACCOUNTABILITY

  • DUTY OF THE OWNER, PROPRIETOR, MANAGER OR SUPERVISOR OR IN-CHARGE OF AFFAIRS OF PUBLIC PLACE:

  • To keep the area under his jurisdiction smoke-free.

  • Display the “No Smoking Board” as per the specification of Health Ministry.

  • Notify and display the name of a person to whom a complaint may be made, in case someone is found violating the law.

  • Ensure that no ashtrays, matches, lighters or other things designed to facilitate smoking are provided.


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DESIGN OF THE ‘NO SMOKING’ SIGNAGE

  • Minimum size of 60 cm by 30 cm of white background.

  • Contain a circle of no less than 15 cm outer diameter with a red perimeter of no less than 3 cm wide with a picture, in the centre, of a cigarette or beedi with black smoke and crossed by a red band.

  • The width of the red band across the cigarette shall equal the width of the red perimeter.

  • Contain the warning “No Smoking Area – Smoking Here is an Offence”, in English or one Indian language, as applicable.


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PENALTY

  • In the beginning, the fine would be only Rs 200, but it will be amended in the future, after which the fine can be increased to Rs 1,000 on violators.

  • Organisations will also be fined for violation. So, the employer can also be fined if somebody is found smoking within the office premises in accordance with the National Tobacco Control Act.


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PENALTY

  • Under the ban, if anyone is found to be smoking on the premises of any institution, including the IT companies, both the company and the violator will be fined.

  • To strictly enforce the workplace smoke-free policy, the Health Ministry plans to slap a penalty of Rs. 5,000 on the organisation whose employees violate the ban on the premises, for the first incident. It would increase to Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 15,000 for the second and third instances.


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POWER TO IMPOSE FINE

  • For Private offices/workplaces, the Head of the Institution/HR Manager/Head of Administration is authorised to impose and collect the fine for violation of law.


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CONTROVERSIAL STATEMENT

  • Is road is not a public place? This is the matter for debate.

  • Further notification or press release is awaited to make the situation clear and transparent as to doubts in implementing the ban almost everywhere.


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AFTERMATH/CONSEQUENCES

  • ITC CHALLENGES SMOKING BAN

  • ITC and Indian Hotels Associationon 24th September, 2008 approached Delhi High Court challenging the Central Govt’s notification on ban.

  • The Delhi High Court to hear Indian Tobacco Company (ITC) Ltd petition challenging government's notification of banning smoking in private offices and other establishments.

  • Supreme Court on 30th September, 2008 gave a green signal to implement a ban on smoking w.e.f. 02nd October, 2008 all over India.


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_____ _ THE END_ _____

COURTESY:Navin Kumar A.


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