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World Briefing / INDIA

Smoking in public places is banned

October 03, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

India banned smoking in public places, leaving public health officials with a tough task: getting the nation's estimated 120 million smokers to stub out their cigarettes.

As more countries have clamped down on smoking in recent years, Indians have freely puffed away at playgrounds, railway stations, sidewalk cafes and even hospitals. No more; and a violator will get a $5 fine.

For years, anti-smoking laws in the nation of nearly 1.2 billion people have been widely ignored. And tobacco companies have fought the government to keep warnings off boxes.

India's smoking ban -- which was opposed by the hotel industry and tobacco companies -- covers offices, hotels, restaurants and hospitals. It also widens an earlier failed ban to cover college campuses, bars and discos.

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