Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Huffing about puffing

Huffing about puffing

With two days left to go for the ban to kick in, govt wonders how to implement it

By Bangalore Mirror Bureau
Posted On Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Don’t be astonished if you see smoke rising from a public loo. For, smokers might be trying out their luck there as well. With the ban on smoking in public areas kicking in from Oct 2, it has become difficult for people to find ‘cigarette-friendly’ areas.

Though two days are left for the ban to come into effect, the state government is groping in the dark on how to implement the Ramadoss diktat. The union health ministry has mentioned where smoking cannot be allowed, but has remained mum on where smokers can have a free-run. The short list of public places where people can smoke are roads, parks, homes and of course, the ‘smoking zones’ in the organisations.

Karnataka’s law and parliament minister Suresh Kumar said: “The Union health ministry’s move has to be appreciated, but the question is how do we implement it. We will take a decision in the cabinet meeting to be convened in a day or two.”
But the smoking ban is considered by smokers as a move geared at curtailing their ‘freedom of expression’. “It will be irritating to go out of the pub just to take a puff or two,” said Surya Makhija, a techie and a chain-smoker from Indiranagar.

Added Rohan Ramesh, a builder: “Office says smoking not allowed. Wife says don’t smoke in home. I think we soon have to build a ‘smokers home’ where we can sit in peace and smoke.”

Questioning the rationale behind the move, engineering student Anil Joshi said: “When smoking itself is harmful to health, why confine it to public places. Isn’t that unrealistic?’


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