Almost four months into the ban on smoking in public places,the Delhi government plans to take it a step forward by demarcating space for smoking and no-smoking in public areas such as restaurants,pubs and airport lounges.
The guidelines,which government officials say are as per international standards,are set to be implemented in time for the Commonwealth Games in 2010.
We are looking at introducing special glass lounges at the airport for smokers as in other countries, a senior government official said. There will also be a mechanism to ensure proper monitoring for nicotine content in the air in public spaces.
According to the official,the government is also looking at allowing restaurants to create similar closed spaces for smokers. We have imposed a ban already and we now need to clearly draw guidelines for the public and owners of restaurants,pubs and others, the official said.
The project is to be implemented in collaboration with the Bloomberg Global Initiative,launched with funds from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg,who had pledged US$ 125 million in August 2006 to eradicate smoking worldwide. The official said the partnership will be formalised following a presentation to be made by officials from Bloomberg Global Initiative to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and her Cabinet ministers soon.
After managing to implement the ban in New York,Bloomberg Initiative will help us to replicate it in Delhi, the official said. New York also imposes an ashtray tax,which allows the administration to fine restaurants for keeping ashtrays in public spaces,and thereby tempting people to smoke in public. In Delhi,the official said,the anti-smoking cell has set up nodal agencies and flying squads to conduct surprise inspections and receive complaints.
According to reports,nearly two-thirds of the worlds tobacco-users live in 15 countries: China,India,Indonesia,Russia,Bangladesh,Brazil,Mexico,Turkey,Pakistan,Egypt,Ukraine,Philippines,Thailand,Vietnam and Poland.
IN THE PIPELINE
* Special glass lounges at airport for smokers,as practised in many countries
* Mechanism to ensure proper monitoring for nicotine content in the air in public spaces
* Restaurants to be asked to create closed spaces for smokers
* Set to be implemented before 2010 Commonwealth Games
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