Indian government has been trying hard to administer the 'No-Smoking' rule in
its tourist destinations in the recent past. Success, however, checked in this
Sunday morning when Kerala's trade hub Ernakulam was named India's first
smoke-free tourist destination. So plan a visit to Ernakumal by taking up Kerala tour packages.
During a function held at Marine Drive on
Sunday, State Excise Minister K Babu felicitated the city for being the first
smoke-free zone amongst all the tourist spots in India.
celebration that marked a successful implementation of the Indian Tobacco
Control Act for the first time in many years was inaugurated by Excise Minister
K. Babu. Smiling all the way through the occasion, District Panchayat president
Eldhose Kunnappillil expressed his contentment by releasing ‘smoke-free
The Tobacco Free School Force performed a passing out
parade while Mayor Tony Chammany took over the responsibility to call the
signals of the parade.
the Rule to Effect
a press conference held in Ernakulam on Friday, an overwhelmed District
Collector P.I. Sheikh Pareed told the gathered media persons that the credit
for this achievement goes to the collective efforts of the district
administration, the district panchayat and the health department to eradicate
smoking from all the public places in Ernakulam. This was an outcome of the
18-month long 'Smoke-Free’ Ernakulam project initiated by the health
department, district panchayat, Cochin corporation and district administration. Ernakulam is a popular city included in most of South India tours.
The aim of this project was strict implementation of the Indian Tobacco Control
Act and complete eradication of public smoking. Various civil society groups,
including Vyapari Vyavasayi Association, Resident’s associations, Hotel and Bar
Association and Hotel and Restaurant Association, also showed their consent in
promotion of this noble cause.
project took-off as the administration displayed warning signs and hoardings
against public smoking in prominent public hubs. The hoardings also had
messages that talked about the people’s right to smoke-free air.
phase was the training phase where all the health inspectors from the Health
Department, police inspectors and panchayat secretaries were trained on how to
deal with smokers in public place and how to spread the message of 'no-smoking'
amongst the masses. As a result of these endeavors, as a public survey
reported, nearly 95% of public places, including restaurants and movie halls,
were found to be free from active smoking.
First Smoke Free Destination in India
is one of the most popular tourist cities in Kerala. The city is home to
various heritage destinations that were built during the era of local kings,
English, Dutch and Portuguese. It got the honor of being the first smoke-free
tourist spot in the entire country, which is 12 years after the first ever
smoking ban was administered in Kerala.
The ban came as an answer to the
petition filed by Monamma Kokkad, a house wife who knocked the doors of the
court after being exposed to averse smoking everyday while she commuted between
Kottayam and Cochin.
Initially, in order to implement the ban, Kerala
police started booking people at railway stations and bus stops. Anyone who was
found smoking was penalized with a fine that ranged between Rs. 200 and Rs.
500, but this could continue only for a few months.
Kottayam, however, did not
take the smoking ban lightly, and it was strictly implemented in all 75