New Delhi: The country’s premier medical institute, AIIMS, has taken a lead in implementing the nationwide ban on smoking in public places, by declaring itself a strictly smoking free zone from Wednesday.
“We have declared our premises strictly smoking free from today itself,” Bir Singh, Professor, Community Medicine at AIIMS said.
He said the institute guards have been given the additional responsibility to ensure that no one smokes in the campus.
The move comes in the backdrop of the Union government’s decision to ban smoking in public places from 2 October, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
“We decided to take the lead a day before the entire country does so to spread the message of anti-smoking,” Singh said.
The ban on smoking in public places like offices, restaurants, hotels, court buildings, libraries and railway stations nationwide will come into effect from Thursday.
According to estimates, 184 million people smoke every day. An average of 2,800 people die due to tobacco related diseases in the country.
Cancer of lungs, lips, tongue, oral cavity, throat and larynx, uterus and urinary bladder are some of the common tobacco related diseases.
“The country spends nearly 240 crores every year on tobacco related advertisements. Every year in India nearly one million people die due to tobacco consumption,” Singh, also the Secretary-General for Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine said.