Buildings to be penalised, fine increased for tobacco use

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New Delhi, Mar 20 (UNI) In a bid to check the menace of tobacco and provide smoke-free workplace, the government is planning to impose fine of Rs 5000 on buildings/institutions for any violation of the Tobacco Prevention and Control Act while the fine on individuals violating the law would be increased five times.

Releasing a report on 'Tobacco Control in Schools in India' and the 'Tobacco Control in Medical Schools of India' here, Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss today urged West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and other senior leaders to set up an example by not smoking in public.

''Mr Bhattacharya is a senior leader and he should set up an example,'' the Minister said when asked about the senior CPI(M) leader smoking in public.

Dr Ramadoss said the provisions of the Tobacco Control Act would be amended to increase the penality on any individual violating the act from Rs 200 to Rs 1000. For the first time, a penalty of Rs 5000 would be imposed on any building where violation of the Act would be noticed and with every violation the penality would be added.

He said the government would come down heavily on surrogate advertisements of tobacco adding the Health Ministry was constantly in touch with the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to take measures to prevent smoking on screen.

The Health Minister said the government was also planning to set up an authority to enforce the Tobacco Control Act. It would bring succession changes at district level and medical colleges.

A Rs 450 crore programme would be launched to create awareness against use of tobacco in schools. Under the programme Rs four lakh would be provided to each district for awareness generation in schools, he said.

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