DNA, January 12, 2015
Jaipur: The ban on smoking, it seems, has not deterred our youth from flouting the rules and smoking in public places. According to a survey by a city-based consumer organization, the younger generation is clearly the willing defaulter. Most of the city youth were found to be highly reactive and blatantly said that the ban does not make any difference to them.
“During the survey it was observed that both literate and illiterate people have welcomed the ban but the young are not ready to follow it. They say they will continue to smoke on the campus. The police can’t enter the campus and the faculty will not say anything,” said George Cherian,director CUTS Center for Consumer Action; Research & Training.This may come as a respite to tobacco companies,for according to the survey,the youth in the age bracket of 13-15 years are more likely to be addictive for a longer span of time.
The survey by CUTS CART was conducted in 12 key locations in Jaipur,a day after the implementation of the ban. The locations in Jaipur surveyed include railways station, Sindhi camp bus station, crystal mall, Moti Mahal cinema hall, satellite hospital, Session’s court, central library, mini secretariat, Indian Coffee house among others.
According to George,”Cigaratte is the only legally available consumer product that kills a consumer. According to 1985 UN guidelines it also violates three consumer protection norms- right to information, right to safety and right to healthy environment.”
Besides, 35% of the masses were unaware about the provision of penalty under the government ban on smoking in public places’, which came into effect from October 2, 2008. While 80% were aware of the implementation of ban on smoking in public places, awareness about the penalty was as low as 65%.The survey findings reveals that 30% of the people do not take the provision of penalty as fair and 18% think that ban on smoking at public places as unjustified.
Few respondents, while talking about the penalty mentioned that “putting penalty will not serve the purpose until tobacco production is banned”. While asking about the strict implementation of the rule, 15% said ‘no’ or ‘don’t care’. This indicates that there is scope for making good earnings by strict enforcing by the agencies.” said George.
‘The NGO has been implementing various activities since 2006 and is also currently implementing a project “Tobacco Control Campaign by Mobilizing Key Stakeholders in Rajasthan State’ in collaboration with World Health Organization and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare with a special focus on youth.