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Ban on smoking in public from October 2

September 09, 2008 20:02 IST

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The government on Tuesday announced that smoking would be banned in all public places from October two.

The ban would include hotels, restaurants and offices, Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said in New Delhi [Images].

If someone is caught smoking, then a fine of Rs 200 would be imposed on that person in accordance with the National Tobacco Control Act.

"Though in the beginning, the fine would be only Rs 200, we will try to amend the act in the future, after which the fine can be increased to Rs 1,000 and the employer can also be fined if somebody is found smoking within the office premises," Ramadoss said, inaugurating a tobacco workshop in New Delhi.

Apart from this, the minister said the Government has also issued notifications to make pictorial warnings compulsory on all tobacco products from December one.

To begin with, the pictorial warnings would be those cleared by the Group of Ministers and would cover 40 per cent of the product covers, but after around one year, more pictures can be brought in, he said.

The Government is also making the fight against tobacco an integral part of the school health programme.

"According to a WHO study, around 14.1 per cent of school going children are using some or the other form of tobacco, which is very worrisome," Ramadoss said.

The government had notified pictorial warnings to be carried on tobacco products last month after clearance by the Group of Ministers.

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