Monday, March 24, 2008

'Smoke-free workplace policy by May 2008':India

The Health Ministry is planning a steep increase in the penalty for smoking in public with the institution where the breach occurs also being asked to cough up a huge fine.

On how Ramadoss plans to enforce the new rules, he said, "We will make people from within the society work as enforcers. The changes in the Tobacco Act will give them the legal power. We hope to rope in headmasters of schools, teachers, train ticket collectors, taxi drivers, politicians, panchayat members and NGOs to act as enforcers of the Act. These people will challan public smokers on the spot. We don't think any organisation will be willing to pay up such large amounts of money for employees smoking. Automatically, tobacco consumption will go down. The smoke free work place policy should be launched by May."

Ramadoss said the ministry is currently finalising the changes in the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 which will give anti-tobacco activities more teeth.

According to Ramadoss, the government is also planning to phase out tobacco products with the commerce ministry at present looking into the modalities of doing so.

"We would provide alternative employment to people who work in such industries. Though the phase out will be slow, it will happen. Jairam Ramesh recently informed Parliament about these plans," said Ramadoss.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Smoke-free_workplace_policy_by_May/articleshow/2886098.cms

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