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If the above enforcement is implemented successfully then you can imagine how much improvement will happen in the city. The walls and lifts in the government offices and public sector units will be clean and stainless. The ban on Tobacco will not alone restrict smoking but also chewing of Gutka will be banned.   

While an anti-smoking law has been enacted in Goa in 1999, its implementation has been lacking.  As of June 2019, the Directorate of Health Services has taken the law a step further and declared the premises of all the government offices  and PSUs as ‘Tobacco Free Zone’ and violation of it is a punishable offense

The Goa Prohibition Smoking and Spitting Act, 1997 (Goa Act 5 of 1999) had been passed by the Legislative Assembly of Goa on 31-7-1999, however, its implementation has been lacking.

According to the Herald, the health department has pointed out the harmful effects of tobacco use, which are well established global facts. The use of tobacco is a prominent risk factor for 6 to 8 leading causes of death and almost 40 percent of the Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) including cancers, cardiovascular disease, and lung disorders are attributable to tobacco use. The number of deaths in India attributed to tobacco use is an alarming eight to nine lakh per annum. 

Further according to the source, in order to curb and stop this growing menace, the Union Health Ministry had last year directed all states to make government buildings and offices ‘Tobacco Free’ in order to protect public health. The union health secretary had also written to all state chief secretaries and secretaries of all government departments, about the Ministry’s willingness to extend ay technical support, if required for the initiative.

Now to further enforce this rule in Go, according to a Times of India report, the Directorate of Health Services has declared the premises of all the government offices and Public Sector Undertakings (PSU) as ‘Tobacco Free Zone’ and violation of the same will be treated as a punishable offense.

According to the source, an official said that besides keeping government premises clean, it will also contribute to the ‘Swachh Bharat Swasth Bharat’ campaign.

According to the Goa News Hub, the Directorate of Health Services, in a press statement issued today, has said that the decision is been taken in the interest of public health and to keep the Government/buildings clean. As such, smoking and spitting of Tobacco in the premises of Government offices and PSUs are prohibited and is a punishable offense.

All Head of Departments has also been directed by the Public Health Department to enforce the same and submit a compliance report to the Director of Health Services by June 30, 2019.

Source: Times of India

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