India - university smoking ban - need for enforcement..

August 25, 2009 - World Lung Foundation-South Asia, spearheads the Delhi University (DU) Smoke Free Initiative. The list of 14 “smoking dens” in DU was released on Monday, August 24th along with an announcement that the initiative would now be extended to all 83 colleges in the university. The “Delhi School of Economics (DSE) was at least 10 per cent worse than the next den, which is the Law Faculty canteen.”

The DU Vice-Chancellor Deepak Pental said, “Deputy Commissioners of Police of all districts must ensure strict implementation of the law banning sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of college campuses. We are also exploring the possibility of appointing nodal officers of the project as enforcement officers for their respective college or department.”

Tobacco use is the smoking gun in 900,000 deaths annually in India, and the numbers are on the rise as the nation grapples with its epidemic-scale cigarette addiction, reports the BBC. At least 1 million Indians will die annually from smoking-related illnesses in the next decade unless the nation takes action soon, warns a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine.

India a nation of nearly 1.2 billion people has roughly 120 million Indian smokers, cigarettes and hand-rolled bidi will soon account for 20% of all male deaths and 5% of all female deaths between the ages of 30 and 69. An estimated 102 billion cigarettes are sold every year.

In an effort to clamp down on a this tobacco epidemic, the government put in action on October 2, 2008 a smoking ban that carries a fine of 200 rupees (£2.40) – more than the average person’s daily wage. The health minister who championed the ban, Anbumani Ramadoss, has said that those wishing to keep up the habit will “have to smoke in the streets”. This smoking ban was the government's second try in four years. (India introduces public smoking ban by Andrew Buncombe in Delhi, The, 10/2/2008.

Reference: Smoking: DSE worst on list, Deepu Sebastian Edmond,, 8/25/2009.

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