India Bans Smoking in Public

India implemented a ban on smoking that came into effect October 2, 2008.  India’s legislation to outlaw smoking in public was first passed in 2003, to take effect in 2004.  It took four years, however, to work out the guidelines to be implemented. 

Per Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss:

From 2 October India is going to go smoke-free in all public places.

The aim is to discourage the smokers, to make them quit or reduce smoking. Also all non-smoking employees have a right to a 100% smoke-free atmosphere.

The perils of passive smoking are equally bad.

The law survived a legal challenge in which India’s Supreme Court declined to stay the legislation.

Although the Indian people strongly support the public smoking ban, they seem skeptical about the ban’s chances of success:

Not even the most ardent supporters of the smoking ban, which forbids about 1.2 billion Indians from lighting up in restaurants, bars, offices and other public spaces, dared to hope that it would be implemented rigorously. “It will require a shift in the civic mindset,” Dr K. Srinath Reddy, the president of the Public Health Foundation of India, said. “This will take time.”

Nevertheless, India’s smoking ban is particularly noteworthy given the large number of Indians who smoke and given the country’s heavy economic involvement with tobacco. 

Smoking bans are generally considered to have had a positive effect on public health.


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