Hyderabad: In the 12 years of the implementation of smoke free rules, more than Rs 37 crore has been collected as fines from people for violating the no-smoking rules. A total of 26,16,050 people were fined during the period 2007-08 to 2020-21 (upto June 2020), a press release said. Smoking was banned in all public places in the country with effect from October 2, 2008.
“The implementation of the no smoking rules shows the government’s commitment towards tobacco control, however, COTPA 2003, presently allows smoking in certain public places (restaurants, hotels and airports), in the form of designated smoking areas. I recommend that we should abolish all designated smoking areas in hotels and restaurants and even airports to ensure a 100 per cent smoke free environment since most of these designated
smoking areas are rarely compliant as per COTPA requirements and are actually putting our public at great health risk with exposure to second hand smoke”, said Dr Harit Chaturvedi, Chairman of Max Institute of Cancer Care.
Designated smoking room has a grave risk for spread of Covid-19 since the infection spreads primarily via respiratory droplets— little blobs of liquid released as someone coughs, sneezes, or talks, the press release said.
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