Staff Reporter

SALEM: Despite a holiday teams of enforcement officials, guided by the health officials, carried out surprise checks against smokers in public places.

This followed the ban on smoking that came into force on Thursday.

Public places where people congregate became the targets for the officials.

A few were caught red-handed while smoking and few others stubbed it out hurriedly after being alerted by others.

People selling cigarettes and beedis within the 100 metre radius of educational institutions were warned.

Since it was a holiday, strict enforcement could not be implemented.

“However we will enforce the law strictly. Spot fines of Rs 200 will be slapped immediately,” said an official here.

Despite the ban and a massive awareness campaign a few die-hard smokers could be seen smoking in street corners and lanes.