Jamshedpur: The East Singhbhum administration has decided to launch a drive from March 10, where in people found smoking in public places, vendors selling tobacco products near any educational institution will be seriously dealt with under provisions of the Act.
Despite anti-smoking legislations, there is widespread use of tobacco in various places in the city. Public spaces are not freed from the curse of smoking. Be hotels, bar and restaurants, bus stand, railway stations, private and government hospitals and even educational institutions the menace of smoking in public is still rampant.
The city everyday witnesses smokers taking power puffs in open areas despite the ban on smoking in public places. On November 2, 2008, it was announced by the State administration that cities in the state will be a smoking free zone. Unfortunately nothing has been done yet.
Deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal, who issued the directive on Wednesday as a part of a tobacco control drive, said raid teams had been formed at district, subdivision and block levels.
” We want to make Jamshedpur a smoke-free city. I myself will monitor working of the teams,” said Kaushal.
It is very common for passive smokers to develop a range of diseases, including respiratory and other ailments. Some non-smokers can have even cancer after prolonged exposure to passive smoking. The problem is more acute in cramped spaces like offices, parks and also restaurants because second hand smoke lingers on for a longer time. Most of the places including buses also do not have mandatory nosmoking signs. The most vulnerable sections affected by second hand smoke are pregnant women and children.
Smoking in Public Places Rules, 2008 state, “Sale of tobacco products in an area within a radius of 100 yards of the educational institution is strictly prohibited and is a punishable offence with a fine which may extend to `200.”
But openly defying the law, the tobacco shops are doing brisk business within 100 yards of educational and medical institution. School and college going students are often found smoking in the nearby shops.A statistic says that in India, about 900,000 people die due to tobacco related diseases per year and it is estimated that India as compared to any other country will have the fastest rise in tobacco related deaths each year.”Avoiding tobacco adds 20 years to the life of a teenager. But, despite several campaigns, the culture remain prevalent among youths,” said Dr U K Srivastava, a private practitioner.