Villupuram district is at the forefront in the State in the implementation of the Tobacco Control Act 2008, according to a study carried out by Mary Anne Charity Trust, Chennai. Collector R. Palanisamy released a report here on Friday.
He said that the administration had been making concerted efforts to turn Villupuram into a tobacco-free and smoking-free district.
With a view to accomplishing the task, it had deployed sanitary inspectors all over the district to keep a close watch on smokers.
Accordingly, the inspectors swooped on 38,658 people smoking in public places and collected fine to the tune of Rs. 4.4 lakh.
The administration had also launched awareness campaign by putting up posters highlighting the harmful effects of tobacco and smoking.
Referring to the report, Mr. Palanisamy said that overall, 92 per cent of people, including those addicted to smoking, wanted the district to be tobacco-free.
Eighty-one per cent of them acknowledged the harmful effects of tobacco products, 66 per cent viewed it as an economic burden, 88 per cent felt that it also affected passive smokers and 85 per cent called for stringent action against smokers.