Speak up Delhi: Ban on public smoking and drinking only on paper

Despite the govt fine of Rs 5,000 against violators, the menace refuses to die out

Latest News
Speak up Delhi: Ban on public smoking and drinking only on paper


The recent shocking incident in which a 21-year-old photography student was killed after he objected to a man smoking in public has, so far, not moved the city government to make the laws against the nuisance of smoking and drinking at public places stricter.

The victim was beaten to death while his friend was critically injured after they objected to a group of people smoking publicly in south Delhi’s Safdarjung area last week. Demanding justice for the victim, his family started a campaign but disturbingly, the incident did not provoke any public outrage.

A number of spots in Delhi-NCR have become notorious for groups of people drinking there in the alleys or near roadside kiosks, while indulging in hooliganism with impunity. These spots include places outside hospitals, in markets, parking lots, and border areas.

Both smoking and drinking at public places has been banned, with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia imposing a fine of Rs 5,000 on violators. In addition, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government had announced the closure of wine shops in areas where people reported incidents of hooliganism and objected to the presence of these shops. The monitoring and effective enforcement of rules on the ground, however, has not been done with any efficiency.

Further, in an order, the Supreme Court had stated: “Tobacco is universally regarded as one of the major public health hazards and is responsible, directly or indirectly, for an estimated eight lakh deaths in the country annually. It has also been found that treatment of tobacco-related diseases and the loss of productivity caused cost the country almost Rs 13,500 crores annually, which more than offsets all the benefits accruing in the form of revenue and employment generated by the tobacco industry.”

When queried regarding the matter, the government officials simply passed the buck on to the police, which is the law-enforcement agency. According to senior officials, such cases as the recent lynching of the youth must not be treated as isolated incidents or accidents but as a serious offence, which had the intent of revenge.

Most people don’t feel comfortable if someone is consuming alcohol or tobacco near them. As they say, ‘the mind of a child is made of clay.’ Looking at the people who consume alcohol and tobacco in public places, the next generation of our country may get inclined to such habits at a young age.The harmful smoke of cigarettes affects the health of those also who are present near a smoker.
Ujjwal Bhatt, Greater Kailash

I don’t like people smoking near me. Smoking at public places affects the air and health of other people in the surrounding. I have also seen drunk people damaging public property and hurting innocent people. Most cases of rape and eve-teasing also involve alcoholics and addicts. The government needs to be stricter and impose rules, which will help in reducing the number of such incidents.
Leena Singh, Kailash Colony

I have seen a lot of smokers on roads. In fact, it is the most pathetic thing about being out of home. I suffer from asthma and I am sure that there are more people on road who have such diseases or are prone to such diseases. The smokers only add to their woes by  spreading pollution and increasing the suffering for us.
Rajesh Sindwani, Kashmere Gate

Being a woman, even crossing a road full of drunkards and smokers is fearful. I get very tensed when my younger son watches such things and asks related questions. Despite the rules and regulations, no one is really following them. The police should implement the fine system well, so that such acts do not become an inspiration for the youth.
Kajal Sindwani, Shalimar Bagh

I guess it starts with us. We must think about people around us and what impression we make by consuming alcohol and tobacco near them. Also, you must think that you can make a perfectly healthy person suffer because of your deeds. Lastly, the government must implement rules properly.
Nidhi Sharma, Tilak Nagar

Even if smokers do not smoke at public places, the smoke still mixes with the air. There should be a permanent solution to this. Some people smoke and drink and all of us bear the consequences. At least, the government should take action against those publicly causing harming the environment.
Abhipriya Gupta, Model Town


The district police, along with the traffic police, regularly conduct drives against drunken driving. Check points have also been installed at various places in the Capital. Anti-Tobacco Staffers have been deployed in some districts, especially the ones where colleges and universities are located. Drinking at public places is prohibited and we do book people under the Excise Act. Regarding smoking, the definition of a public place varies. For example, smoking is allowed in a vehicle.
Madhur Verma, DCP, Delhi Police PRO

Find your daily dose of news & explainers in your WhatsApp. Stay updated, Stay informed-  Follow DNA on WhatsApp.

Live tv