New Delhi, Oct 1 : Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss has said that a blanket ban on smoking in public places would be strictly enforced from October 2.
India is among the few countries to ban tobacco-related advertisements but apart from the ban in media, the ban on smoking in public places or sale to minors is blatantly flouted.
"The Health Ministry can implement the law, the rule, the act wholeheartedly. From October 2, India is going to go smoke free in all public places," said Ramadoss.
Urging the people to self-impose the ban, the Health Minister said the need for restrain smoking had to come from within the individuals.
"Please self-impose this act. That is my main appeal. Every public in India has to self-impose," said Ramadoss.
India is the third largest tobacco producer and consumer in the world after China and United States of America. India, exports one fourth of its total annual tobacco output, which is nearly 545 million kilograms.
A Health Ministry handout said India has the highest number of oral cancer cases in the world and 90 per cent of all oral cancers are tobacco related.
More than 2200 Indians die everyday due to tobacco use and 40 per cent of all cancers in the country are due to tobacco use.
According to the WHO, there will be more than ten million deaths a year due to oral cancer in the next thirty years with 70 per cent of those occurring in developing countries like India.