The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the national capital has been declared ‘tobacco-free zone’ and violation of this has been made punishable offence with fine up to Rs 200.
The hospital has said that action will be taken against the doctors, permanent or contractual employees and security staff found smoking or chewing tobacco on the hospital premises.
The Central government has enacted the Cigarettes and other Tobacco products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulations of Trade and Commerce Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA) in 2003 to protect the youth and the masses from adverse harmful effects of tobacco use and secondhand smoking, the hospital said in the order.
“In the interest of public health and with a view to keep the hospital buildings clean, thus contributing towards the ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign, the premise of AlIMS, New Delhi is declared as ‘Tobacco Free Zone’,” said an official notification from the hospital.
As such, smoking and spitting of tobacco in the premises of AlIMS, Delhi are prohibited and is a punishable offence with a fine of Rs 200, said the order further.
The hospital has requested all HODs to bring it into the knowledge of the staff working under them to strictly follow the above-mentioned guidelines.
The security personnel have also been instructed to not to allow the patients, attendants, visitors, and staff members to use tobacco in any form in the premises of AlIMS.
While commenting on the decision, Uma Kumar, Head of Department, Rheumatology, AIIMS, told IANS: “We welcome this step. Tobacco kills in many ways. Apart from this, we are striving hard for COPTA amendments that aims to ban designated smoking zones & advertisement at point of sale (PoS).”
“These steps will ensure Healthy and Fit India as envisioned by our Prime Minister. If any contractual employee/ security staff found smoking cigarette or beedi and/ or chewing tobacco product in AlIMS New Delhi premises, he /she shall be summary terminated from the service. If any permanent employee/ doctor found smoking cigarette or beedi and/ or chewing tobacco product in AlIMS Delhi premises, he/ she will be issued a memo and a disciplinary action shall be taken against him/ her,” the hospital said.
The use of tobacco is a prominent risk factor for leading causes of death and a number of Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) including cancers, cardio-vascular diseases and lung disorders are attributable to tobacco use.