The monument which once inspired a brand of cigarettes with the same name is on its way to becoming a ‘No Smoking’ area.The Charminar police, as part of its initiative to stop smoking in public places have put up ‘No Smoking’ boards around the historic monument, apart from the Charminar police station premises and various spots around the Charminar.One of the most popular tourist spots in south India, the Charminar has visitors round the year which is why the police have put up boards saying ‘No Smoking area,’ ‘Smoking is an offence here’ and ‘Smoking is injurious to health,’ on various establishments and barricades in the area.Recently, a two-day workshop was organised by the Hyderabad city Police for capacity building of police officials under ‘Mission Smoke Free Hyderabad’. The mission is supported by the Department of Health and Family Welfare and the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, New Delhi.“We set up the posters and boards in connection with World No Tobacco Day and the call from the Police Commissioner to make Hyderabad a smoke free city,” said B Anjaiah, ACP Charminar.Officials said the ban on public smoking would now be strictly implemented with violators to be prosecuted. According to the present anti-smoking law in India, smoking in public places was banned all over the country from October 2 2008.“Prohibition on smoking in public places has been imposed in the city since a long time and awareness is also being sought. Anyone violating the law will be prosecuted,” Anjaiah said.“The boards would continue to be displayed in the area while continuous awareness programmes too would be taken up throughout the year,” he added.
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