Delhi: Smokers beware! Nicotine monitors across city

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New Delhi, Oct 1: Smokers beware! Hotels, pubs, restaurants, offices and even the international ariport would be out of bounds to light up the rolled tobacco from Thursday, Oct 2, Delhi government is going one step ahead of the implementation. It's planning to set up air nicotine monitors across the city to identify areas where there are larger number of smokers.

The ambitious plan, is set to be implemented soon, will be kicked off with 120 such devices being placed in strategic places in the city. Said Yoganand Shastri, health minister, ''It"s a tie-up with the John Hopkins School of Public Health, whereby 120 air nicotine monitors will be placed around the city. The data will be analysed and areas which have higher pollution levels will be identified."" The monitors, feels the minister, will go a long way towards implementation of the ban.

That"s not all. The government also plans to ramp up the number of mobile squads that it has constituted to crack down on smoking in public spaces. Currently, there are eight such squads, which will be doubled in the next few months, say sources. Public health officers will be forming the core part of these teams.

So how hard will the government be coming down on those who flout the ban? While government officials say the aim is to implement the ban in its full spirit, the reality is that in the past 10 months, only Rs 23,000 has been collected as fine till now. Over 5,000 people have been fined, with a majority being males. Only 50 women have been found to be violating the ban till date. Most of these people were found smoking in public areas. Interestingly, only 161 people were caught smoking in buses and taxis in this period.

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