Smoking in Public

Not having any bad habits requires more will power and that shows what true a man/woman someone is.

THE KERALA PROHIBITION OF SMOKING AND PROTECTION OF NON-SMOKERS HEALTH BILL was passed in 2002. It banned smoking in public and made it a punishable offense. Today if somebody smokes in public he is punished with a nice fine and probably a good scolding too –that too publicly.

What does this Act of Law state? Here are a few points:-

Section 5: Prohibition of Smoking in Public places. – No person shall smoke in any public place.

Section 6: Prohibition of smoking in Public Vehicles. – Without prejudice to the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988 (Central Act 59 of 1988), no person shall smoke in the public service vehicle.

Section 7: Prohibition on advertisement or sale of cigarettes. – Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, no person shall advertise in any place and any public service vehicle, which may promote smoking, or the sale of cigarettes or beedis or any other such smoking substances.

Section 8: Prohibition of sale of cigarettes, etc. to children. – No person shall sell cigarettes, beedis chewing tobacco, tobacco paste, including tobacco based tooth paste, supari with tobacco, pan masala, zarda, snuff, ghutka or any other smoking or chewing substance containing nicotine or tobacco to any person who is below the age of fourteen years.

Section 9:  deals with Penalties. – Any person who contravenes the provisions of section 5 and 6 shall be punishable with fine which may extend to one hundred rupees and may go up to five hundred rupees.

Disobedience or contravention of section 7 or section 8 shall be punishable with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees and in the case of second or subsequent offense, shall be punishable with a minimum fine of five hundred rupees, but which may extend to one thousand rupees.

Section10: Ejection of a violator of this Act from the public place. – Any authorized officer or any owner or manager or officer in charge of the affairs of a public place, may eject or in simple words throw out any person from the public place who contravenes the provisions of this Act and any driver or conductor of a public service vehicle may eject any person who contravenes any provisions of this Act in public service vehicles, from public service vehicle.

The law passed is such a boon to both the smoker (though he may not admit it) and those who passively smoke his smoke.

Kerala has become the land of the ill-mannered and the inconsiderate, people who want to enjoy a puff of smoke at the expense of other people’s health and freedom to enjoy life.

Even though this law has been passed we see even today people smoking publicly, arrogantly even when small children are present. People surrounding them don’t complain because they themselves think it is ok to smoke or because they don’t want to get involved in a dirty war of words or problems later on.

Let us all pray that Kerala is blessed with intelligent, well mannered and well-bred people. Then only we can say that that this is God’s own country.

Know the law. OBEY IT!

Adv Kiran T K

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