New Delhi (PTI): Smokers beware! Hotels, restaurants, pubs, offices and even the international airport would be out of bounds to light up the rolled tobacco from tomorrow with the ban on smoking in public places coming into effect.
The ban, the implementation of which is effective from Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary, will cover even hookah bars and pubs as well as private offices and public places like bus stops.
Union Health Ministry issued a notification for the ban under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution), Act 2003.
The notification, which was brought out on May 30, was challenged in many high courts by the ITC as well the Hotel Association of India following which the Health Ministry approached the Supreme Court submitting before it to hear all the cases at one time.
Hearing the petition, the apex court yesterday refused to stay the Central government's notification on the ban on smoking in public places from October two.
A Bench, headed by Justice B N Agarwal, while refusing to stay the notification dated May 30, 2008, also transferred four petitions challenging the ban.
The petitioners had alleged that the notification made no distinction between private space and public space and it may create problems.
Though Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss had written letters to Chief Secretaries, Chief Ministers and Governors of all the states, some states like Bihar and Maharashtra have expressed their inability to implement the ban.