The world’s largest smoking ban goes into effect tomorrow, preventing 1.2 billion Indian citizens from smoking in offices, bars and all public places. Recent studies showed that up to 40 percent of deaths in India are smoking-related.
Nita J. Kulkarni, a freelance journalist in India, defends the ban on her blog, citing heavy secondhand smoke and claiming rights for non-smokers.
Blogger “Ashish” from Bangalore also supports the ban, hoping it will help him to quit smoking.
Blogger “Madhu” argues against the ban, writing that unlike countries whose bans are to reduce health costs or other burdens, India’s government does not pay for welfare or health care and thus cannot justify its infringement on personal responsibility.
The “DNA India” Web site posts a slide show of Indian citizens stating their varying opinions on the ban.
India is one of many countries currently debating smoking bans. Yesterday, a Swiss court struck down a smoking ban in Geneva, while the United Kingdom is now assessing the economic consequences of a ban that the country imposed a year ago.