THE QUESTION OF THE HOUR

                -Roshni S , 5th year BA.LLB , Kerala Law Academy Law College,Trivandrum

When speaking about harmful things you can do to your own body and health, smoking is definitely one of them. Smoking causes a number of serious health diseases like cancer, heart disease, respiratory disorders, and others, making it a major public health concern around the world.When cardiologists are asked about something that they would never do or try to do, every single person unanimously states that it is smoking as it really bad for your heart. There have been various discussions about whether smoking in public areas should be made banned in India. This article examines the effects of public smoking on health, the environment, and the economy in order to assess the need for more stringent regulations.

Smoking in public places poses a significant health risk to non-smokers, who are exposed to Second-hand smoke, also known as passive smoking. Second-hand smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, many of which are toxic and can cause cancer, heart disease, and respiratory illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Children, pregnant women, and people with pre-existing health conditions are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of Second-hand smoke. According to a study by the World Health Organization (WHO), Second-hand smoke causes more than 1.2 million premature deaths every year globally. In India, a study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) estimates that Second-hand smoke causes around 900,000 deaths annually. These figures highlight the urgent need to protect non-smokers from exposure to Second-hand smoke in public places.

Currently, smoking in public places is regulated by the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) 2003, which prohibits smoking in certain public places such as hospitals, schools, and government offices. However, the implementation of these laws is often weak, and smoking in public places continues to be a widespread issue in India.

To effectively reduce smoking in public places, stricter laws need to be enforced. These laws should include a ban on smoking in all public places, including restaurants, bars, and other entertainment venues. Additionally, there should be strict penalties for violators, including fines and imprisonment.Moreover, there should be a ban on the sale of tobacco products within a certain radius of educational institutions, as children and young adults are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of smoking. The government should also launch awareness campaigns to educate the public about the dangers of smoking in public places and encourage

Smoking in public places is a significant public health hazard that puts both smokers and non-smokers at risk. Banning smoking in public places can help reduce these risks and improve public health. India has taken several measures to curb tobacco use, including the enactment of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) in 2003, which prohibits smoking in public places. However, enforcement remains a challenge, and smoking in public places remains a widespread problem. More efforts are needed to raise awareness regarding the ill effects of smoking and as well as to make smoking illegal in public places.

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