New Delhi: Smokers and tobacco addicts will find Chandigarh a hard place to live in from July: they won’t be allowed to light up in public places and the authorities will strictly enforce anti-tobacco laws.
A committee formed to make Chandigarh India’s smoke-free' city on Wednesday agreed to allow the police to fine people for smoking in public.
“Besides protecting children, women and non-smokers from the harmful consequences of tobacco and smoking, such an initiative will improve the global image of Chandigarh," said the union territory's Home Secretary Krishna Mohan.
The city will have smoking areas in all public places and buildings to prevent passive smoking. The process of notification for making smoking in public places a cognizable offence has been initiated and a formal document would be issued soon.
Mohan said a campaign would be launched to ensure that no tobacco product seller sells the products to children of below 18 years old.
Shops selling tobacco within 100 meters of educational institutions will be fined. The police have written to business associations, auto and taxi unions and requested them to help in the anti-smoking campaign.
Boards against smoking would be displayed at all public places and police has been instructed to continue the enforcement drive and take action against smoking in public.
Buses and other public modes of transport would also carry display warning boards against use of tobacco. It was decided that Chandigarh administration would request all public sector banks, Punjab and Haryana governments to display boards prohibiting smoking in public.
Unauthorised road side tobacco vendors would not be allowed and a campaign would be launched against them. Police and municipal corporation authorities have been instructed to deal with the issue.