The government is planning shortly to implement the law that would prohibit smoking in public places. A couple of years back, the Supreme Court had issued a mandamus to that effect, directing the government to ban smoking in public places. However, various political exigencies prevented the government from implementing the law. Nepal has also been a signatory to the International Con5vention against tobacco consumption. Even so, 49 per cent males and 29 per cent females in Nepal are learnt to be smokers. The numbers of smokers have been increasing, as smoking has become a fad, especially among the youngsters. According to statistics, smoking leads to over 16,000 deaths in Nepal annually.
In many foreign countries, smoking is strictly prohibited in public places. It has been scientifically proved that smoking causes more harm to secondary smokers than the real smokers. The government should launch anti-smoking campaigns in order to educate people about the lethal effects of smoking. In order to truly discourage smokers, the prohibition should be strictly implemented. However, a limited number of smoking zones should be designated in public places. But the offenders must not be spared.