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August 7th, 2011:

Nepal bans smoking at public places

Kathmandu: Nepal has banned smoking at public places with the 2010 Tobacco Control and Regulatory Act coming into effect from Sunday.

As per the law, those caught smoking at public places will be fined and civil servants indulging in smoking at public places will be liable to departmental action.

The law designates government offices, corporations, educational institutions, libraries, airports, public vehicles, orphanages, childcare centres, cinema halls, homes for the elderly, cultural centres, children”s gardens, hotels, restaurants, resorts, girls” and boys” hostels, department stores, religious sites and industries as no-smoking zones.

According to Xinhua, Nepal Health Secretary Sudha Sharma said the government would carry out a mass awareness programme, highlighting the penalty for smoking in public places.

She also said that an inter- ministerial coordinating committee has also been formed to enforce the law to ensure citizens’ right to health.

The government has also made pasting of no-smoking notices mandatory at every public place.

The law also bans the sale of tobacco products and single sticks within a 100-meter radius of educational and health institutions, children”s homes, child- care centres and elders’ home, the Himalayan Times reports.

It also prohibits selling tobacco to an individual below 18 years and pregnant women.

According to the Act, advertising and sponsoring programmes in the name of tobacco-related products through media would attract a fine.


Enforce ban on smoking outside

South China Morning Post

For the sake of the health of smokers and non-smokers alike, it is a good thing to extend the range of public areas where smoking is now banned.

That is all very well, but no law can be effective unless it is enforced.

The large pedestrian squares in Tsim Sha Tsui East, outside the East Ocean Centre, have recently been designated no-smoking areas.

However, few people seem to realise that. A handful of rather small notices about this are affixed to lamp-posts, and I noticed only one larger banner in the square itself.

Bearing in mind that this pedestrian area is generally full with many hundreds of people, such very limited signage is totally ineffective.

Many of the visitors to that area are mainland tourists, who go shopping there.

When alighting from their coaches, few would even be aware of this theoretical smoking ban, not having seen one of the, very few, small notices about it.

As a result, the so-called ban is widely ignored.

Within a five- minute period there the other day, I counted no fewer than 68 people smoking. Clearly, the Tobacco Control Office needs to erect much larger and more prominent signs about this.

They could additionally usefully tackle the many local bars and coffee shops, at which scores of people sit around outside, smoking.

The office also needs to have inspectors patrolling these squares, otherwise nobody will pay the slightest attention to this supposed ban on smoking there.

Paul Surtees, Mid-Levels