On 2nd October 2008 India imposed a countrywide ban on smoking in public spaces in its fight against tobacco use.This ban bars smoking in hotels, eateries, cafes, pubs, bars, discotheques, offices, airports, railway stations, bus stops, shopping malls and parks.Although people can continue to smoke in private homes and open spaces.
It is aimed at cutting the number of smokers and to protect passive smokers from the harmful effects of tobacco.In India hundreds of thousands of people who have never smoked die each year by inhaling smoke from other people’s cigarettes and bidis.So this ban is welcomed by almost 80% ppl in India. However remaining 20%(read smokers)felt “This is a senseless and draconian ban”, “In any way its not gonna reduce smoker’s population and its side effects”.
Ironically,tomorrow is 2nd Oct,2009 a whole complete year since the ban has been imposed. I sympathise with the idea of discouraging smoking. it certainly has caused a buzz, and, on the positive side, helped create nation-wide awareness on the perils of smoking. As per my observation,most of the IT companies,call centers are smoker’s paradise.Though all the companies including mine have dismantled their designated smoking zones, and discouraged their employees not to use those area for smoking.I have not seen my mgrs,colleagues stopping or reducing smoking bcoz of this ban.
In fact nearby premises are more smoky than before now. When i am out for shopping i have came across ppl smoking on streets without bothering for others.I do not know if anybody has yet been fined under the new law.Still sales of cigarettes are not down, and certainly the cigarette industry is not up in arms.
If the objective was to save the lungs of millions of Indians, this ban is not going to work because smokers will smoke and are smoking as long as they can afford to buy cigarettes and find a corner on which to smoke them. What would work much better is higher taxation, education and awareness.Its important for nonsmokers to know that,the Government has provided nonsmokers with a weapon that is powerful enough that he can stop someone from blowing smoke on his face. So if you are a non smoker and you see someone smoking at public place, don’t hesitate. Ask him to stop. No one can refuse your request.Because, now you have the backing of law.
So lets work together to make India really smoke-free 🙂