The ban on smoking in public places has not come into full implementation. Even lawmakers were found puffing on Bond cigarettes inside the premises of the Constituent Assembly building.
The Tobacco Control and Regulation Act-2068 that came into effect from Sunday bans smoking in government offices, educational and health institutions, airports, public vehicles, daycare centres, religious places old-age homes, orphanages, clubs, public toilets, industries, factories, theatres, cinema halls, hotels, restaurants, canteens, hostels, lodges and guesthouses. However, smokers still seem oblivious of the new provision and are found smoking in public places.
RSS found many people smoking while walking through public places. People who have knowledge of the new provision are also found smoking, challenging the authorities.
When asked how the authorities are preparing to implement the anti-smoking law, Assistant Spokesman of Home Ministry Yek Mani Nepal said the Home Ministry was not informed about the law on time, so it couldn’t conduct monitoring in the initial days. But effective monitoring process will start and the offenders will face action, he said.
People who sell cigarettes on footpaths are ignorant of the Act. “I don’t know that we can’t sell cigarettes in public places,” said Mangali Tamang, a vendor who sells cigarettes on a nanglo.
Government officials have been calling for public support to implement the ban. Health Secretary Dr Sudha Sharma said all should help implement the anti-smoking law. She also said an awareness campaign will be launched nationwide to implement the new provision.
Those violating the law are subject to pay fine from Rs 100 up to Rs 100,000.
On the other hand, tobacco companies must allocate 75 percent of the space on packets, wrappers or labels of any tobacco product for anti-tobacco use messages and pictures.
The Act gives permission to licensed shops to sell tobacco and forbids the sale of tobacco to people under the age of 18 years and to pregnant women.