TAMIL NADU

Drive against smoking in public places begins in Dindigul

It’s fine time: Special team led by Deputy Director of Health Services K. Jagadesh Kumar collecting spot fine from smokers at Central Bus Stand in Dindigul on Saturday.

It’s fine time: Special team led by Deputy Director of Health Services K. Jagadesh Kumar collecting spot fine from smokers at Central Bus Stand in Dindigul on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: G. Karthikeyan

Staff Reporter

Officials serve notices on 90 persons who violate the ban

DINDIGUL: For the first time, district health officials have started hunting persons who smoked in public places here on Saturday. Notices were served on over 90 persons who violated ban on smoking and 14 shops that sold tobacco products within 100 metres from educational institutions. A fine of Rs.10,400 was collected from them.

Surprise check began at Kamarajar Central Bus stand and continued on four streets around the bus stand on A.M.C. Road.

Department of Health Services has constituted 49 special squads to take action against violators in both urban and rural areas.

While taking stringent action against violators, awareness of ban on smoking would be intensified simultaneously, according to K. Jagadesh Kumar, Deputy Director of Health Services.

“Our aim is to make people realise the adverse impact of tobacco products and future health complications.”

Even as smoking in public places has come down sharply, officials could not declare the bus stand a smoking free zone as majority of people from remote villages did not know the ban, said petty shop keepers at the bus stand.

Tea and coffee shops, restaurants and paan and petty shops displayed signboards stating the ban on smoking and cautioned their customers not to smoke inside and near their premises as such action would lead to criminal action and punishment.

Between October 2 and 10, health officials had intensified caution and awareness campaign among people.

After campaign, the health administration has started charging violators. Action would be taken against shops who sell tobacco products within 100 metres of educational institutions. Section 3 of Smoking of Tobacco Products deals with smoking in public places and Section 6 deals with sale of tobacco products to persons aged below 18 years.

Fine will be between Rs.100 and Rs.200 to each violator, officials pointed out.

The Central Government has banned smoking in public places from Oct 2, Gandhi Jayanthi Day.

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