Smoking banned in Rupakot-Majhuwagadhi Municipality

Khotang, December 12

Rupakot-Majhuwagadhi Municipality has banned smoking and consumption of tobacco related items in public places of Khotang.

Aiming to prevent loss of lives due to tobacco consumption and smoking, the municipality imposed a ban on smoking and chewing tobacco in public places.

“In case a person is found violating the rule, s/he will be penalised Rs 500,” said Mayor Deep Narayan Rijal. The municipality ran a campaign informing the residents about the ban. Security personnel were directed to take action against those breaching the rule. “All 15 wards of the municipality have been declared no smoking zone,” said Mayor Rijal.

The municipal said it wanted to encourage people to live a healthy life by not smoking and consuming tobacco products that harm them physically, socially, psychologically and economically. The provision mandates hotels to set up special smoking zones. “Smoking doesn’t only affect primary consumers but also non-smokers in the surroundings. Therefore, we decided to impose a ban on its consumption. Smokers are allowed to consume tobacco products only in special zones, otherwise, we will fine them,” said Rijal.

The rule became public at a time when tobacco products and cigarettes were sold openly in grocery shops and other places without acquiring licence. Traders are not allowed to sell tobacco and cigarettes to all below 18 years of age and pregnant women. Over 15,000 people die of tobacco consumption every year in Nepal. Earlier, Tobacco Control District Network Khotang was formed to combat growing tobacco use to ensure the health rights of people in the district. The municipality also said a fine of Rs 1,000 would be slapped on people disturbing social order under the influence of alcohol.