Delhi,1 June :Smokers beware! Hotels, airports, restaurants and even your drawing room would cease to be safe for you once the new regulations banning smoking in workplaces come into effect.
The ‘Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places Rules, 2008’ being introduced as part of an amendment to the Tobacco Control Act will bring under its ambit hotels, restaurants, airports, banquet halls, discotheques, pubs, coffee houses and shopping malls.
While eateries and other places generally come under the ambit of a work place, even a drawing room can be considered as one with the maid being considered as an employee.
According to the draft rules, it would be the responsibility of the owners of these establishments to ensure that nobody is caught smoking in their premises.
In case of any violation, it would be the owner, proprietor, manager or supervisor who would be liable to pay a fine.The organisation would also have to put up a prominent board displaying a no-smoking sign in front of the establishment.
The rules come as a part of the government efforts to check rising incidents of tobacco abuse in the country.Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss had earlier campaigned to introduce pictorial warnings on cigarette and bidi packets to deter smokers.
A World Health Organisation report has found that 10 per cent of the world’s smokers live in India.The report further said the use of tobacco in India among young girls have risen with 9.7 per cent girls between the age of 13 and 16 years using some form of tobacco as against 3.1 per cent adult women.
Tobacco prevalence among adult men is a high 57 per cent while 32.7 per cent of them smoke bidis, it said.The WHO report warns that the "tobacco epidemic" is growing and could claim a billion lives by the end of the century.
Seventy-four countries still allow smoking in health care institutions and about the same number allow smoking in schools.More than half the countries with two-thirds of the world’s population allow smoking in government offices and workplaces.
The international health body says that most smokers in South-East Asia start tobacco consumption before the age of 18 and almost a quarter of them start using tobacco before the age of 10.
In many countries, over 50 per cent of minors have purchased tobacco products from stores and 70 per cent have never been refused despite their age.
Tobacco use among girl students is also on the rise, it said, adding the focus on this year’s World Tobacco Day which falls from Monday should be on protecting the youth from tobacco use through a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising.
The international health body has recommended that there should be a 100 per cent ban on advertising of tobacco products and that the manuals and instructions should be handed out in local languages. Courtsey ; DD NEWS