Commonwealth Games 2010
Latest News - Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi and New Delhi.

Defying smoke-ban in Delhi may attract high penalty
January 11, 2008.
NEW DELHI: In a bid to make Delhi smoke-free by the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the state government is considering to enhance the penalty on those who smoke in public from Rs 200 to Rs 500.

"Increase in penalty is being mooted to deter the smokers from smoking in the public places. Our aim is not to prosecute but to make people aware of the health hazards due to smoking," RP Vashist, head of the Public Health Department of Delhi Government, said here.

"A balance view has to be taken before introducing such measure. We would like the people to voluntarily quit smoking instead of being slapped with fine," he said, pointing that imposing fines did not have the desired effect in checking the problem.

"For instance, though we managed to collect a good amount of Rs 7 lakh last year by booking smokers, we don't find them quitting it. Hence the decision to stop smoking should come from within the smoker."

The health official said that after looking into all the legal aspects, the proposal to enhance challan would be sent to the government which would forward it to the Lt Governor for notification.

He added that to implement the Delhi Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of health of non-smokers Act 1996 in a right earnest, a comprehensive action plan has been prepared, mainly focussing on creating awareness among the smokers and non-smokers as well.
The official said as per the Act, all the gazetted officers are empowered to challan smokers and they would be sensitised to use that power more frequently. 



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