The Kerala High Court has passed an order banning smoking in public places in the state. While responding to a public interest petition, the court directed the district collectors in the state to implement the ban within one month. The ban will be effective in government buildings, bars, restaurants, bus stands, railway stations, market places, hospitals, stadiums and highways. Persons violating the ban would be booked under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code relating to public nuisance and pollution. Citing studies by the Indian Medical Association and other agencies, the court said that the number of people falling ill due to smoking was far higher than those who died of aids , alcohol, accidents or drugs.
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