NIMHANS has just put up their used cigarette butt display to show the extent of tobacco use in the city. Clearly, they aren’t happy about it.
Story so far: Around 300 NSS volunteers were sent out over a 3-week period to pick up used cigarette butts from public spaces. Thousands of butts were picked up from bus stops, educational institutes, parks, hospitals, bakeries and restaurants, government offices, etc.
Way forward: According to activists, the only way to free public spaces from smoking is to pass the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Amendment Bill, 2020.
- It hikes the fines for smoking in public spaces, removes Designated Smoking Areas from there and increases the minimum age from 18 to 21 for tobacco sale and use.
Tracking trends: The National Family Health Survey-5 (2019-2021) said that 32.3% of women and 27.8% of men in Karnataka tried to stop using tobacco at least once in the 12 months before the survey. Around the same time, 79.6% of women and 56.2% of men were advised to stop using by a medical professional.