Jaipur, October 03, 2008

35 percentage of the common people in Jaipur are unaware about the provision of penalty under the ‘Govt. ban on smoking in public places’, which came to effect from October 2, 2008. A survey conducted in 12 key locations in Jaipur city, a day after the implementation of the ban, which covers public places such as shopping mall, hotel, restaurant, pub, office etc., by CUTS Centre for Consumer Action; Research & Training (CUTS CART), Jaipur, a consumer advocacy group, which also work tobacco control initiatives from the consumer perspective. 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 etc. While majority of respondents (80 percent) were found aware about the implementation of ban on smoking in public places, the awareness about the penalty was found as low as 65 percent. The findings based on survey reveals that 30 percent of the respondents do not take the provision of penalty as fair and 18 percent people are not taking even ban on smoking at public places as justifiable.

Few respondents while talking about the penalty mentioned that ‘putting penalty will not serve the purpose until the production of tobacco is banned’. While asking about the strict implementation of the rule, 15 percentages of the people said ‘no’ or ‘don’t care’. This indicates that there is huge scope for making good ‘earning by strict enforcing’ by the enforcement agencies.

This survey was in series of previous interventions of CUTS CART in the area of Tobacco Control Initiatives. CUTS CART has been implementing various activities since year 2006 and is also currently implementing a project “Tobacco Control Campaign by Mobilizing Key Stakeholders in Rajasthan State” in collaboration with WHO and MoHFW with a special focus on youth. CUTS is working for the strict enforcement of the ban of smoking in public places.

It was observed during the survey that both literate and illiterate people are welcoming the ban but youths are not ready to follow the rule. They seem to be more reactive. Few respondents wanted the rural places like chopals, dharamshalas and other religious places also to be publicised as public places. One respondent at Government Satellite Hospital suggested including even roads as public places.