Expressing concern over “increasing trend” of smoking in public places and high sales of cigarette in Tamil Nadu, former Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss on Saturday urged Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi to strictly implement the ban in the state.
“There is no proper implementation of cigarette ban in the state which is affecting non-smokers, especially women and children. It is a matter of concern that the ban is not being implemented,” Dr. Ramadoss, who had introduced the ban on smoking in public places in 2008, said in a statement here.
While the Government Order had clearly laid out measures including penalty for defaulters and placing announcement boards banning smoking in public, the former health minister alleged that the state government had not taken necessary steps in a “full-fledged way“.
“I would like to point out that these are not being taken up in full-fledged way,” he alleged.
Dr. Ramadoss rued that Tamil Nadu constituted 10 per cent of national cigarette sales and urged the chief minister to take all efforts to strictly implement the ban.
There was an “increasing trend” of smoking in public places in the state and it had earned the “dubious distinction” of ranking second in sales of cigarette in the country, only after Andhra Pradesh, he added.