India - Heavy Fines If You Smoke In Public Places..

October 1, 2008 - Tomorrow, Thursday October 2, 2008 the Indian Health Ministry will put in effect a countrywide ban on smoking in public places. Those caught violating the rule may be fined $5 - a sizeable sum in a country where the per capita income is less than $1,000 a year.

Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Anbumani Ramadoss said "An Act on no smoking in public places has been brought out by the Centre two-and-a-half years ago, but it remained only on paper. Now, we have made a modification in the already enforced rule and from October 2, 2008, the modified rule will be enforced strongly across the country." He said at a function, as part of World Tobacco Day being observed on Saturday. Ramadoss said 40 percent of deaths occur in India due to tobacco related diseases while two-thirds of deaths occur due to smoking, junk foods and usage of drugs. India has some 120 million smokers -- about one-fifth of the population.

Most Indians support plans to tighten existing laws for a complete ban on smoking in public places, according to results of a survey published Thursday.
Some 92 percent of the 1,030 people who answered the survey in Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata, strongly favoured curbs on lighting up at work or in hotels, bars, restaurants, cinemas, schools and hospitals. Eighty-four percent also agreed that breathing second-hand smoke was a serious health hazard, mirroring the findings of similar surveys conducted in other countries that have now gone smoke-free.

Reference: Smoking ban to be enforced from Oct 2: Ramadoss,, 5/31/2008. India smoking ban 'has strong public support', AFP, 9/18/2008 and India Tells Smokers to Take it Elsewhere (Nation to Begin Ban On Public Puffing; Enforcement is Key by Vibhuti Agarwal, The Wall Street Journal, 10/1/2008.