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World No Tobacco Day: Need to enforce smoking ban seriously
World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), May 31, is being observed globally by the World Health Organization (WHO) to create awareness about the health hazards and other risks associated with tobacco use.

The observance is also being marked by events highlighting and advocating for framing effective policies and enforcing smoking ban to reduce tobacco consumption.

This year the campaign of WNTD is focussing on relationship of tobacco and heart diseases. The WHO maintains that cardiovascular diseases (CVD) kill more people than any other cause of death worldwide. One of the major causes of cardiovascular diseases is tobacco use and passive smoke exposure or second-hand smoke that contributes to approximately 12 per cent of all deaths related to heart disease.

In India, the nation-wide ban on smoking in public places was enforced from 2 October 2008 under the Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places Rules, 2008 and COTPA. Further, the rules mandating pictorial warnings on tobacco products were notified on 3 May 2009 came into force from 31 May 2009 after several rounds of amendments and delays.

Despite smoking ban, there is lack of public awareness about smoking and tobacco use offence and the fines. Slowly, notice boards of the size 60x30 cm with the inscription "No smoking area. Smoking here is an offence" have disappeared.

As per a recent Global Adult Tobacco Survey jointly conducted by WHO and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Indiangovernment, about 48 per cent of adult population consumes tobacco in some form or the other in most states. Despite the smoking ban, there has been an alarming rise in tobacco consumption in the last few years.

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