Bihar Govt ensures 'blanket ban' on smoking in public places

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Patna, Oct 02 (UNI) The Bihar government issued stern directives to all district authorities last night to impose 'blanket ban' on smoking in public places from today in accordance with the Centre's decision to this effect.

Isseing the directive, state Health Minister Nand Kishore Yadav said all District Magistrates, Superintendents of Police, Divisional Commissioners, hospital superintendents, college principals and senior officials of the Food Control department had been asked to impose the ban strictly.

If anybody was found violating the ban, he must be fined Rs 200 on the spot, he said adding apart from all government offices and buildings, the ban would be in effect in every school, college and other educational institution, restaurants, pubs, cinema halls, railway stations, airports and even post offices across the state.

'' We have also launched a vigorous public awareness campaign in every city and town in the state to apprise the people not only of the ban but also of the ill-effects of smoking, particularly among the young generation, '' the Minister stated.

He said though it was not possible to maintain a round the clock vigil in every public place, efforts would be made to discourge smoking even on roads, maidans and on other open spaces.

Incidentally, driven by the sole objective of protecting the non-smokers from a possible health hazard, Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss almost single handedly fought the smokers' lobby to impose a blanket ban on smoking in all public places across the country from today coinciding with the 139th birth anniversry of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi.

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