Kozhikode, Oct 10: The rate of public smokers in the state of Kerala had reduced after a directive was passed by the Govt in 1999. Now, it is very close to nil after the ban imposed on smoking in public by Centre.
"What the recent ban has done is to take up the issue more seriously, demanding the police to be more effective', says City Police Commissioner Anoop Kuruvilla John. "The ban has been reasonably well-enforced in the state even earlier, when the guilty had to personally appear in the Court to pay a fine up to Rs 500", he says, adding that on an average, about 350 cases were booked a month in Kozhikode alone till recently.
Though the October 2 ban, a pet project of Health Minister Dr Anbumani Ramadoss, calls for banning smoking in cinema halls, pubs and restaurants, among other places, enquiries reveal that smoking continues inside theatres during intervals
Majority of the people strictly adhere to the recent ban, not out of willingness, but for fear of being caught in public.