After issuing back-to-back warnings over public smoking, the Delhi Police fined over 8,000 people for smoking in public under a special drive, in just 4 days. The special drive by the Delhi police was carried out on December 30, 2017 and January 3, 6 and 10. Reports suggest that special teams from 28 police stations took out the special drive in south and southeast Delhi areas such as Hauz Khas, New Friends Colony, Greater Kailash, Lajpat Nagar and Saket. Smoking in public is an offense which can earn you Rs 200 challans.

Commenting on what some call a ‘revolutionary drive’, DCP (southeast) Chinmoy Biswal said that the drive was launched under Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA). Speaking to HT, Bisawal said, “Till 8 PM on Wednesday, the south district police had fined 2,755 violators while their southeast district counterparts had fined 5,459 smokers. While the figures for south Delhi were final, the drive in the southeast district was to go on till 10 PM.” The DCP further added, “After this, we sent out teams for action on selected days.” Therefore the total number of offenders rose to 8,214 in just 4 days.

Taking to his Twitter handle, Romil Baaniya, DCP (south), said, “11.3%smokers enjoy while other 88.7% non-smokers suffer passive smoking. Exemplary work in enforcement of COTPA 2 makes change in public behaviour.” the police officer also added that the drive was launched to create awareness among the public and will go on.

As per the COTPA 2003, smoking in public places is banned. The COTPA also bans all forms of advertising and promotion of tobacco products. The sale to or by minors and within 100 yards of educational institutes is also prohibited. Commenting on the matter, an official said that around 95 percent of the challans have been issued to those found smoking at public places.

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