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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 May, 2004, 14:46 GMT 15:46 UK
India outlaws smoking in public
A smoker in Madras, India
Anyone caught would be fined 200 rupees (around $4.5)
A law has come into force in India which bans smoking in public places.

The legislation has been introduced under India's new Anti-Smoking Act, which was passed by the country's parliament last year.

The law also forbids any direct or indirect advertising of tobacco products and the sale of cigarettes to children.

Anyone caught breaking the law will be fined 200 rupees ($4.50), officials have said.

"The ban is largely in the interest of youngsters because we need to protect the future generation," the health minister of Maharashtra state said.

According to a 1996 survey reported by AP news agency, 112 million people smoke tobacco in India, while 96 million use tobacco products like chewing tobacco.


The guidelines were issued in February and state governments were given three months to publicise the ban and implement the legislation, according to a health ministry spokesman.

The guidelines are said to call for owners of restaurants, hotels and other public places to display signs declaring no-smoking areas, and that anyone found smoking could be fined.

But a reformed smoker in Mumbai told AP the ban would fail.

"There's more pollution on the roads with the bus and truck fumes," he said.

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