Say ‘No’ to Smoking in any form. Start Reporting Incidents to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

For a while, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had been actively working hard towards bringing a blanket ban on abuse and misuse of tobocco products which is predominantly observed in the country as cigaratte smoking. As part of this noble life-saving mission and ensuring clean oxygen for everyone, today’s ‘The Hindu’ carried almost full page public advisory entitled “Smoking in ‘Public Places’ is banned’ and the referencing Gazette Notification for the same is GSR 417 (E) dated 30th May, 2008. The blanket ban has come into effect from 2nd October 2008.

Some of the keypoints of the ban are:

  1. Smoking is strictly prohibited in all public places. “Public Place” includes auditorium ,
    hospital buildings, health institutions, amusement centres, restaurants, public offices,
    court buildings, educational institutions, libraries, public conveyances, stadium,
    railway stations, bus stops, workplaces, shopping malls, cinema halls, refreshment
    rooms, discotheques, coffee house, pubs, bars, airport lounge etc.
  2. Any violation of this act is a punishable offence with fine upto Rs. 200.
  3. However, a Hotel having thirty or more rooms or restaurant having seating capacity of
    thirty persons or more & airports may provide / have a separate smoking area or
    space, as required by the rules.
  4. The owner, proprietor, manager, supervisor or in charge of the affairs of a public
    placeshall ensure that:

    1. No person smokes in the public place(under his jurisdiction/ implied)
    2. The board as specified in schedule –II of the rules; is displayed prominently at the
      entrance(s) of the Public place and conspicuous place(s) inside.
    3. No ashtrays, matches, lighters or other things designed to facilitate smoking are
      provided in the public place.
  5. The owner, proprietor, manager, supervisor or in charge of the affairs of a public place
    shall notify and display prominently the name of the person to whom a complaint of any
    violation may be made.
  6. If the owner, proprietor, manager, supervisor or the authorized officer of a public place
    fails to act on report of such violation, the owner, proprietor, manager, supervisor or the
    authorized officer shall be liable to pay fine equivalent to the number of individual

The Ministry has also setup a National Toll-Free Helpline which can be reachable on 1800110456 to report violations. So, next time you spot an active smoker disturbing you with all those funny air bubbles or witnessing unauthorised and illegitimate tobacco products sale, you need not mentally drown in a sense of haplessness. Pull out the telephone and report the incident. Let us bring the offenders to book and make India and the world smile in a complete no-smoke spring-fresh oxygen atmosphere.

Note:  The contact number is currently not reachable on non-BSNL or non-MTNL numbers. I have just written to Airtel to see if there is any issue on the same. However, the contact center confirmed that the number is configured with support from BSNL or MTNL numbers only.  I just felt that I would share this also and if we can request Airtel and/or private telephone operators to include support for this noble cause.