Quick Links



    Ernakulam, the city of joy for non-smokers

    KOCHI: The city, which has been declared a smoking-free tourist destination recently, is all geared to book law evaders. Public smokers will not be in a position to flee the scene scot-free as the anti-smoking squad formed by the district administration is in action already.“A squad involving Revenue, Excise and Police departments will see to it that the rule is strictly enforced without fail,” said District Collector Sheik Pareeth. You can call up the toll-free number 1090 and complain if you come across public smokers. “If you spot any case of public smoking you can call on this toll-free number. A message will be passed to the nearest police station and the squad will reach there immediately. They will be fined at the spot or produced before the court,” said Joseph Saju, ACP, Narcotic Cell.A fine of Rs 200 will be imposed on the persons who are found smoking at public spaces. Smoking zones are provided at all important buildings and hotels in the city. All government, private and educational institutions are instructed to exhibit boards carrying the numbers to which public smoking should be reported.The volunteers of anti-tobacco campaign in the city will help make the district a smoking-free one. The campaign which was started a year ago mainly focuses on spreading awareness. “As part of the campaign, the district was divided into various zones. Firstly the area from Subhash Bose Park to the High Court was scrutinised and made completely smoking-free. Later it was extended to other areas and in the first phase schools and shops near educational institutions were zeroed in. We also made sure that tobacco products were not sold to customers below 18,” said Dr Sudhakaran, District Medical Officer.Though public smoking has been banned, instances of violation are aplenty. “But after the authorities started to take strict action there is a visible fall in public smoking. Now you won’t find smokers at public places like theatres and offices compared to earlier times,” said Dr Sudhakaran.