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Smoking in India

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Smoking in India

Smoking in India has been known since at least 2000 BC when cannabis was smoked and is first mentioned in the Atharvaveda, which dates back a few hundred years BC. Fumigation (dhupa) and fire offerings (homa) are prescribed in the Ayurveda for medical purposes and have been practiced for at least 3,000 years while smoking, dhumapana (literally "drinking smoke"), has been practiced for at least 2,000 years. Tobacco was introduced to India in the 1600s. It later merged with existing practices of smoking (mostly of cannabis).

Smoking in public places was prohibited nationwide from 2 October 2008. There are approximately 120 million smokers in India. According to the

  • Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places Rules, 2008

External links

  1. ^
  2. ^ Marihuana and medicine, p. 3.
  3. ^ P. Ram Manohar, "Smoking and Ayurvedic Medicine in India" in Smoke, pp. 68–75
  4. ^ "The History of Tobacco".  
  5. ^ "Environment and Health by Adv. Vijay Hiremath on Page 116". Retrieved 1 June 2014.  This source contains quotations from the legislation, which is in the public domain.
  6. ^ "D 1.3 Adult Smokers". Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  7. ^ Seema Singh (14 February 2008). "‘1 mn Indian smokers will die every year’". Livemint. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  8. ^ Shujaat Bukhari (24 September 2011). "J&K tops States in number of smokers". The Hindu. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  9. ^ "Kashmir has the highest number of smokers in India". Free Press Kashmir. 21 July 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "Implementation of the Framework Convetnion on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in India : A Shadow Report - 2010". HRIDAY. Archived from the original on 17 June 2012. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  11. ^ a b c d "COTPA Law". Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  12. ^ Sarin, Jaideep, "Chandigarh’s ’smoke-free city’ campaign loses steam", Indo-Asian News Service, New Delhi, 13 July 2008
  13. ^ Website, "Smoke Free Chandigarh Website", Burning Brain Society, Chandigarh
  14. ^ The Hindu, IANS, "Shimla to turn smoke-free soon", Chandigarh
  15. ^ The Times of India, "Our Unsung Hero, Kicking the Butt", Chandigarh
  16. ^ World Heart Federation, "Global Smoke Free Partnership", Chandigarh
  17. ^ a b Agencies. "Smoking ban to be enforced from Oct 2: Ramadoss". Express India. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  18. ^ "Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike to intensify hookah joint raids". The Times of India. 7 March 2012. 
  19. ^ Kounteya Sinha (2008-09-10). "From October 2, head for the road to smoke".  
  20. ^ "India to declare all places of work as smoke free". 23 July 2007. Retrieved 15 February 2011. 
  21. ^ "Bangalore: Smoking ban still long way to go". The New Indian Express. 8 August 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  22. ^ "Alcohol in India". 8 September 2000. Retrieved 14 January 2013. 
  23. ^ "Government to launch fresh campaign against smoking".  
  24. ^ a b Nandini Ramnath (2013-10-04). "Where there is smoke, there is fire". Livemint. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  25. ^ Aarti Dhar (2013-09-30). "New ad spots to focus on passive smoking".  
  26. ^ "India Matters: January 2009". Retrieved 2010-05-31. 
  27. ^ a b "Celebrity Quotes". Retrieved 2010-05-31. 
  28. ^ a b "GYM 2009 | Tag Archive | tobbaco". Retrieved 2010-05-31. 
  29. ^ a b Dum Maro Dum" while you still can, on celluloid at least | Analysis & Opinion |""". 2008-10-03. Retrieved 2010-05-31. 
  30. ^ By Leo Juarez for CNN. "Bollywood smoking ban sparks controversy - Jun 27, 2005". Retrieved 2010-05-31. 
  31. ^
  32. ^ Post To: (2008-10-21). "Bollywood Smoking Against Smokers | Latest Bollywood|Kollywood|Tollywood| News". Retrieved 2010-05-31. 
  33. ^ [1]
  34. ^ "Indian Court Stubs Out Ban On Smoking In Bollywood - Asia - World". 2009-01-23. Retrieved 2010-05-31. 
  35. ^ Jamkhandikar, Shilpa (2013-10-03). "Woody Allen stops "Blue Jasmine" India release because of anti-tobacco ads".  
  36. ^ "Woody Allen found anti-tobacco ad distracting, says distributor".  
  37. ^ "Woody Allen finds Indian anti-tobacco ad distracting, cancels film screening". 2013-05-20. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  38. ^
  39. ^ "Hookah bars banned in Ludhiana district". Hindustan Times. 2 March 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  40. ^ "Ban on hookah joints, News – City – Bangalore Mirror,Bangalore Mirror". 30 March 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  41. ^ "Hookah banned across Maharashtra – Mumbai – DNA". Daily News and Analysis. 5 October 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  42. ^ "Home minister warns of a ban on hookah parlours". Hindustan Times. 3 April 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  43. ^ "Bar owners move HC on hookah ban". Hindustan Times. 29 July 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  44. ^ Hookah bars' banned in Jaipur, IBN Live News"'". 9 December 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  45. ^ "DC orders ban on hookah bars". The Times of India. 3 March 2012. 
  46. ^ "Hookah bars banned in Gurgaon". Hindustan Times. 4 April 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  47. ^ "Hookah bars banned in Panchkula". The Hindu. 1 December 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  48. ^ "Madhya Pradesh govt bans hookah lounges in Indore". DNA. 19 May 2011. Retrieved 16 Apr 2014. 


See also

City/Region State Date of Ban Remarks
Bangalore Karnataka 29 March 2011 [40]
Maharashtra October 2011[41] Serving hookah is punishable by a fine of 1200 (US$19).[42] The BMC had banned hookah bars in Mumbai on 2 July 2011.[43]
Jaipur Rajasthan 9 December 2011 [44]
Ludhiana district Punjab 1 March 2012 [45]
Gurgaon district Haryana 3 April 2012 [46]
Faridabad district Haryana 2011
Panchkula district Haryana 30 November 2011 [47]
Indore Madhya Pradesh 20 May 2011 [48]

Hookah bars are banned in state of Maharashtra. Other regions that have bans are:

Authorities generally apply Section 144 (Unlawful assembly) of CrPC to shut down hookah bars.[39] Governments also use the COTPA.

The nationwide smoking ban did not prohibit consumption of hookah in hookah bars. However, several cities in India have banned consumption of hookah in hookah bars. Police raids usually focus on punishing the owners and operators of hookah bars rather than the customers. Customers are usually fined while owners may face stiff fines and/or jail time. It is still legal to purchase hookahs at shops and consume them at home.

Hookah law

In August 2014, an expert committee headed by Malayalam film director, script writer, and producer Adoor Gopalakrishnan recommended that the Kerala government remove the warnings. Gopalakrishnan stated, "When the movie is on, these messages appear in bold and there is a format which the filmmakers must follow. People won't go to drink after watching these scenes. These warnings that pop-up hampers the continuity or the flow of the film. We are not asking to completely do away with the warnings; it can be shown before the film and during the interval. Why are there warnings only for alcohol and smoking scenes? There are fight scenes, item dance and rape scenes shown in films without any warnings."[38]

Woody Allen refused to release his film Blue Jasmine in India because he objected to anti-smoking ads that appear before and during any film that depicts smoking. "Due to content in the film, it cannot be shown in India in its intended manner. Therefore, the film is not scheduled to play there."[35] Deepak Sharma, COO of PVR Pictures, stated, "Allen has the creative control as per the agreement. He wasn't comfortable with the disclaimer that we are required to run when some smoking scene is shown in films. He feels that when the scroll comes, attention goes to it rather than the scene. We had to abide by the law and we don't have control over the film, so it's alright."[36][37]

Anti-smoking ads must be screened at the beginning of the movie and during the interval. In addition, a disclaimer must be displayed on-screen during each scene where smoking is present.[24]

During the tobacco ban, the use of tobacco was still implied in movies and television, even if was not explicitly shown; it was "sung and danced about" instead.[28] So Bollywood, in conjunction with tobacco companies, was still able to get around the smoking ban. Bollywood was also able to bypass the tobacco ban because of the lack of enforcement. Corruption within the government and police lead to officials not being successfully impose such policies, such as the smoking ban in cinema. As noted by one, "The authorities aren’t organized enough...I’ll just pay a bribe."[33] The Delhi High Court subsequently overturned the ban in January 2009, citing that the ban was a form of censorship that restricted the right to freedom of speech.[34]

Proposed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in May 2005, a smoking ban that prohibited films and television shows from displaying actors or actresses smoking went into effect on October 2, 2005.[30] The Indian government felt that films were glamorizing cigarettes, and with nearly 15 million people going to see Bollywood films on a daily basis, then Health Minister Anubumani Ramadoss claimed that the ban would "protect the lives of millions of people who could become addicted to smoking under the influence of movies."[31] Under the smoking ban, smoking scenes in any movie was prohibited, including any old or historical movies where, some argued, smoking was necessary to make the depiction accurate. If producers wished to show a character smoking, the scene would have to be accompanied by a note saying that smoking is injurious to health, along with disclaimers at the beginning and end of films.[32]

Bollywood has a long history of depicting characters smoking.[26] According to a WHO study, tobacco is portrayed in 76% of Bollywood films, with cigarettes making up 72% of all the portrayals.[27] Even though chewing tobacco and bidis account for the majority of tobacco use in India, cigarettes do make up 20% of the market.[28] Prior to the 1990s, Bollywood portrayed smoking primarily as the vice of villains. The heroes portrayed in classic films were the "poor-but-proud" types. They rescued damsels in distress, performed heroic feats, and beat up gangs of bad guys single-handedly, but never did they risk their image by smoking on screen.[29] Even the villains were classy about the tobacco use, smoking cigars in three-piece suits as they plotted their evil plans. However, the modern day heroes have brought a new tradition of "lighting up a cigarette while performing martial arts stunts." [29] Influenced by Western cinema such as Hollywood films, the heroes in Bollywood movies now have more suave, attitude, and machismo, all which appears to be complemented by the use of cigarettes. As noted by the WHO study, the occurrence of "good guys" in films smoking or using tobacco has gone up from 27% in 1991 to 53% in 2002.[27]

In film

With effect from 2 October 2012, the government began screening two anti-tobacco advertisements, titled "Sponge" and "Mukesh", in movie theatres and on television.[23] It is also mandatory for theatres to display a disclaimer on-screen whenever smoking scenes are depicted in the movie.[24] The "Sponge" and "Mukesh" ads were replaced by new ads, titled "Child" and "Dhuan", from 2 October 2013.[25]

The Cable Television Network (Regulation) Amendment Bill, in force since 8 September 2000, completely prohibits cigarette and alcohol advertisements.[22]


Rules mandating pictorial warnings on tobacco products were notified on 3 May 2009 came in to force from 31 May 2009 after several rounds of amendments and delays.[11] Section 7 of COTPA deals with the "Display of pictorial health warning on all tobacco products packets". It prohibits the production, sale and import of cigarettes or any other tobacco product unless every package of cigarettes or any other tobacco product bears pictorial warnings on its label covering at least 40% of the package. The warnings are changed once a year. The law also prohibited more than two languages from being used on the pack to ensure that the specified warning is legible and prominent.[11]

Front of a Gold Flake Kings box, sold in India, displaying the old pictorial warning

Pictorial warnings

Smoking in public places was prohibited nationwide from 2 October 2008 under the Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places Rules, 2008 and COTPA. The nationwide smoke-free law pertains only to public places. Places where smoking is restricted include auditoriums, cinemas, hospitals, public transport (aircraft, buses, trains, metros, monorails, taxis) and their related facilities (airports, bus stands/stations, railway stations), restaurants, hotels, bars, pubs, amusement centres, offices (government and private), libraries, courts, post offices, markets, shopping malls, canteens, refreshment rooms, banquet halls, discothèques, coffee houses, educational institutions and parks. Smoking is allowed on roads, and inside one's home or vehicle.[17][18] Then Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss was quoted as saying, "Smoking on the road or the park will save others from the wrath of passive smoking".[19] Smoking is also permitted in airports, restaurants, bars, pubs, discothèques and some other enclosed workplaces if they provide designated separate smoking areas.[17] Anybody violating this law will be charged with a fine of INR200.[20] The sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions is also prohibited. However, this particular rule is seldom enforced.[21]

Nationwide public smoking ban

[16] was also awarded the Global Smoke-Free Partnership Award for the initiative.[15].Hemant Goswami The success of Chandigarh had been widely recognised and the architect of smoke-free Chandigarh [14] also followed the Smoke-Free Chandigarh model to become smoke-free.Shimla project has been a success story. Taking a cue from the Chandigarh's success, cities like [13] the Smoke-Free Chandigarh[12] became the first city in India to become 'smoke-free'. However despite there being some difficulties and apathy by the authoritiesChandigarhIn 2007,
Change Catalyst Creating Smoke Free Cities

Regional smoking bans

Prohibition of sale of tobacco products in an area within 100 yards of any educational institution was brought into force from 1 December 2004.[11]

The first legislation regarding tobacco in India was the Cigarettes (Regulation of Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 1975, which mandated specific statutory health warnings on cigarette packs in 1975. The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003, abbreviated to COTPA, received assent from the President on 18 May 2003. It came into force on 1 May 2004.[10] The Act extends to the whole of India, including Jammu and Kashmir, and is applicable to cigarettes, cigars, bidis, gutka, pan masala (containing tobacco), Mavva, Khaini, snuff and all products containing tobacco in any form.[11]


A survey conducted by the International Institute of Population Science and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, reveals that 26.6% of people in Jammu and Kashmir smoke, the highest rate in the country.[8] The highest number of beedi smokers are in Uttarakhand.[9]

According to the study, "A Nationally Representative Case-Control Study of Smoking and Death in India", tobacco will be responsible for 1 in 5 of all male deaths and 1 in 20 of all female deaths in the country by 2010. This means approximately 1 million Indians would die annually from smoking by 2010.[7]

[6] There are approximately 120 million smokers in India. According to the


"Tobacco is universally regarded as one of the major public health hazards and is responsible directly or indirectly for an estimated eight lakh deaths annually in the country. It has also been found that treatment of tobacco related diseases and the loss of productivity caused therein 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 tobacco industry".
—Supreme Court of India, Murli S. Deora vs Union Of India And Ors on 2 November, 2001

The Supreme Court in Murli S Deora vs. Union of India and Ors., recognized the harmful effects of smoking in public and also the effect on passive smokers, and in the absence of statutory provisons at that time, prohibited smoking in public places such as auditoriums, hospital buildings, health institutions, educational institutions, libraries, court buildings, public office, public conveyances, including the railways.[5]

Landmark Case

Tobacco was introduced to India in the 1600s.[4] It later merged with existing practices of smoking (mostly of cannabis).

Cannabis smoking in India has been known since at least 2000 BC[2] and is first mentioned in the Atharvaveda, which dates back a few hundred years BC. Fumigation (dhupa) and fire offerings (homa) are prescribed in the Ayurveda for medical purposes and have been practiced for at least 3,000 years while smoking, dhumapana (literally "drinking smoke"), has been practiced for at least 2,000 years. Fumigation and fire offerings have been performed with various substances, including clarified butter (ghee), fish offal, dried snakeskins, and various pastes molded around incense sticks and lit to spread the smoke over wide areas. The practice of inhaling smoke was employed as a remedy for many different ailments was not limited to just cannabis, but also various plants and medicinal concoctions recommended to promote general health. Before modern times, smoking was done with pipes with stems of various lengths, or chillums. Today dhumapana has been replaced almost entirely by cigarette smoking, but both dhupa and homa are still practiced. Beedi, a type of handrolled herbal cigarette consisting of cloves, ground betel nut, and tobacco, usually with rather low proportion of tobacco, are a modern descendant of the historical dhumapana.[3]



  • History 1
  • Landmark Case 2
  • Prevalence 3
  • Legislation 4
    • Regional smoking bans 4.1
    • Nationwide public smoking ban 4.2
    • Pictorial warnings 4.3
  • Advertising 5
  • In film 6
  • Hookah law 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


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