In a drive against smoking in public undertaken by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) across the state from January 10-16, Mumbai topped the list of offenders with 965 people being booked and fined.
“We had embarked on a seven-day drive against smoking in public and have cracked down against 3,642 offenders of which 965 are from Mumbai,” said Dilip Shrirao, joint commissioner vigilance, FDA.
As per the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003, smoking in public places is banned and is a punishable offence attracting a fine of Rs 200. The strict implementation of the ban started from October 2, 2008.
As per the act, smoking is now prohibited at all places to which the public has access, including auditoriums, health institutions, government buildings, restaurants, courts, public conveyances, public transport, stadiums, railway stations, bus stops, workplaces, shopping malls, refreshment rooms, discotheques, pubs and airport lounges. The ban, however, does not cover open spaces.
The centre has deputed nearly 21 agencies including police and municipal corporation the right to levy fine on offenders. FDA officials claim that since 2004, they have managed to collect a fine of Rs 10.5 lakh from people who were either found smoking in public spaces or vendors who were hawking wares within 100 metres of a school.