Smokers, Beware! Nepal is legislating anti tobacco laws

Posted by: Indra Dhoj Kshetri

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After the legislation comes into effect, it will be pretty difficult for the smokers openly exhaling smokes in public places.

This shall be an embarrassing news for the smokers and tobacco users in the country. However, Nepal has moved towards legislating anti tobacco laws that will ultimately affect the production, sale and consumption of tobacco. Besides, it will be pretty difficult for the smokers to continue their habit as they have been doing. The House of Representatives has recently ratified the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). This ratification entails certain obligations to Nepal government to make certain laws and formulate policies and plans to regulate and control the consumption of tobacco.

Among them, Nepal will have to make laws that will completely prohibit the advertisement, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products. Those products will have to print a message regarding the prospective harms of consuming those products on at least 30% portion of the packet. To control smuggling, tobacco producers will have to print the name of the country where the product will be sold.

Unlike delays on legislating other laws to comply with the conventions or treaties ratified, Nepal has moved fast towards legislating anti tobacco laws. The immense pressure from the civil society seems to have pressurized Nepal government to legislate such laws. A draft bill on regulation and control of tobacco goods has been prepared. And the civil society is concerned to make it passed by sitting House of Representatives.

This draft prohibits smoking in public vehicles, health organizations, child welfare and child care institutions and educational institutions. It also mentions that there should be a fixed smoking zone in the places like office, cinema halls, theatres, temples and inns, game zones, hotel, resort, restaurant, marketplace, fairs, departmental stores, public toilets etc. That is to say certain well ventilated places within the four walls will be separated as a smoking zone whereas; all other places shall remain non-smoking zones. The draft prohibits involving children below sixteen on sale, distribution and purchase of tobacco goods.

If the draft is legislated by the sitting house, the situation will be somehow different, peculiar to the smokers. Nepal government will also rethink the taxes on tobacco products which will evidently increase the cost of tobacco goods that has already been towering in the last few years. Besides, since they can’t advertise and promote their products and sponsor any events, new producers will find it very difficult to enter the market. Anybody will raise questions on anybody exhaling smokes openly in the public places. And, there are some prospects that the children will find it difficult to purchase the tobacco goods that will oblige them to give up smoking.

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After the bill is drafted, debates have been ignited. The industrialists have been claiming that if the law is legislated, it will curb the revenue the nation is gets from tobacco producers and consumers that will ultimately affect the national development. Another tobacco monger claims smokers’ rights and others. However, none of these claims are logical. The nation has to spend more on treatment of the tobacco consumers than it gets in revenue from producers and consumers of tobacco goods. So far as smokers’ right concerns, it is a fake claim. Generally, a smoker takes 10-12 minutes to finish a stick of cigarette. He inhales the cigarette smoke only twice in a minute. Rest of the time, the smoke freely whirls in the air, affecting the people sitting close to him. Those people not smoking but sitting beside are called passive smokers. Experts claim that passive smokers are as equally affected as the active smoker. Hence, the smokers have been threatening the right to life of a passive smoker. Let’s not be so much rigid towards smokers as well. The smokers may exercise their rights in a separate zone, without interfering others.

Are there prospects that our bloggers, commentators and visitors gave up smoking? Those are congratulated who gave up smoking as New Year resolution. Those who didn’t will resolve in Nepali New Year. Let’s consider following devastating effects of tobacco consumption provided by World Health Organization (WHO).

Five million people die of tobacco consumption every year in the world. That is 13,300 people die every day. To break it to smaller measurement, a person dies every 6.5 seconds because of tobacco consumption.

Tobacco consumption is the cause of 85% lungs cancers.

If the number goes increasing in the existing proportion, ten million people will die of tobacco consumption by 2020 every year. And 70% of such deaths will be in developing countries like Nepal.

Tobacco contains nearly 4000 chemicals of which none are found beneficial for the health.

Each stick of cigar reduces 14 minutes of life from one’s life span.

Nearly 16 thousand people die of tobacco consumption in Nepal.

55% of total population consumes tobacco goods and 48.4 % of total smokers are below 15 years of age.

Isn’t it devastating? And disgusting for the smokers?
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Awareness: This sign board caught up by Everest Uncensored Team during hiking recent days appeals people to give up smoking and drinking.

Smokers, Beware! Nepal is legislating anti tobacco laws was last modified: September 11th, 2013 by Indra Dhoj Kshetri
 

Blog Comments

  1. Sisir Kumar Rai

    Tension for Surya Nepal’s HiFi staffs. How they face if this law will implementing. Basically, Law does not effect for national revenue because large part of total Income of Surya Nepal, goes to India bcoz of ITC’s subsidiary company. This is not a main thing but anti smoking nation is good for new Nepal. Lets help the nation for the legislating anti tobacco law.

  2. Pasang Sherpa

    This is a very good news for all non smokers and all those individuals who wish not have breath a stake second hand smoke from the smokers while in the walking on the street, or else where. I think, by this new law, everyone is now going to enjoy the right of breathing a fresh nicotine free air.

  3. Fanzephyr

    !!Zephyr, correct. People who hate smoking and as in Singapore fine up to 250$ was levied on me, governments do not know how to earn money and make people work. Once I was in some farm of Albama rearing cows. Even cows felt relaxed in my pipe’s smoke and they gave more milk ad babies. In Banglore India, I regularly smoked. In Shanghai, I followed stricter rules, but was able to escape. World is divided into two religons: Smokers and Non-Smokers. With Smoker’s money Non-Smokers are geting HealthCare Insurance, Jobs,Developments, and all-ound benefits. During 1975 and beyond, I remember taking grass in Asian Poor Country Nepal, when they earned a lot of money. They should again open pot taking System if Nepalese want more money. Then US will raid Nepal, and give billions of dollars to destroy POTs as a supplement. Nepalis don’t need any other industry then. IMAGINE fellows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. zephyr

    The government of nepal did good thing by ratifying FCTC and legislating anti tobacco laws. Its easy for us to criticize and blame government on the failure of effective implementation of healthy policies like this one….but let us rethink about our responsibilty as a citizen of Nepal. How much of effort do we put in supporting these laws/policies through our action? Its impossible for the police to monitor smoking in public areas 24 hrs a day.
    If we see someone smoking in lets say a public transport or building, do we ignore or stop him? Do we ourselves follow the moral and ethical duty of not smoking in public places?
    Banning smoking is not always the best solution…nepal still has a long way to engage in health promotion strategies on tobacco control. We can learn from the best practice model from countries like Australia which repeatedly advertises the visuals of harmful effects of smoking and the labels of all ciggs sold has pictures of different dieaseas due to smoking which has resulted in large number of people qutting to smoke.
    Advertising helpline for quitting cigarattes in cig packs and public areas can be effective too. There is no one way to tackle this issue, health promotion practisioners in nepal must integrate components of ottawa charter in implementing healthy policies.

  5. Raghu Rajbhandari

    Untill i die of smoking, i don’t think i will be stopped or punished for smoking in any public place. Its a good move though and i want them to take as much time as possible.

  6. Dr. Adhikari

    Lekhakji: You have hit the chord of the problem–if doctors smoke like you have rightly pointed out, then how can we expect particularly uneducated people to understand the health hazards. Despite doubts being raised about the enforcement, any legislation at least will be the stepping stone. Our people need to exercise their freedom of speech to hold government accountable to enforce these as well supposing this draft bill passes. Easier said than done. Let us pray for the health of our people. Thank you.

  7. Lekhak

    Dr. Surendra

    Why do all the doctors in Nepal smoke? You will tell me how come you know about it? If not all then 90% of them do smoke. Don’t believe me, please spend some time to do cursory research.

    This is so hilarious. I hate doctors, but not all.

  8. pawan

    अरे सुदीप ब्रो, अस्तिको त्यत्रो दम उहिलै खतम, अहिले त दमै छोडला जस्तो कुरा गर्छ। भएन यो त, बरु बेस्करी दम मारो दम गरौ।

  9. Sudeep Adiga

    pawan, I appricate those coward people who dare not to break the government
    rules rather than brave gurkhas whose bravery are just a sake of name. If we brave
    gurhkas shows our bravery in right track our country wouldn’t have been this position. Burning Tyres in middle of road and throwing
    stones in public properties are the bravery of gurkhas. Why cannot we show our bravery in Unity and think to develop our country.??

  10. ♥Akriti Panthi♥

    That is great news that smoking is being banned but the reputation that us, Nepalis’ have on listening to the government or any rules at all it’s too doubtful. If the government could really inforce these rules, then the air we breath would be a lot better.

    If you people know that is bad to smoke at the start then why’d you do it? Yes, I bet it is more addicting then I could imagine but also think of the others you are affecting by smoking…second hand smoke also kills many..please try and reconsider on smoking, it isn’t cool, funny or anything..just disgusting

    ♥Akriti Panthi♥

  11. Bibash

    INDRA SIR,The things described are very appreciable and i knew and realise too the detrimental effects of smoking ,still i can’t give up . I know it is exacerbating my health now while i am smoking but when i’ll give it up than i wouldn’t be able to be active in my daily activities and again it has also adverse effect on me .So giving up smoking hasn’t any positive impacts on me and i think this problem arises not only to me but also to others who smoke ..If government tries to implement than rehabilitation camps should be managed properly and all the resources and companies related to that should be closed .
    Ok if the government want to implement the idea of banding the resources and comanies than the companies will
    suffer and the government has to satisfy them .Even if this is done ,the people who is addicted to smoking will smoke certainly perchasing from outsides and this results economy unbalance coz the country’s GDP gets decreases.
    Hence i think to implement it in our country is almost impossible and impractical.

  12. Dr. Surendra Bir Adhikari

    Dear Mr. Kshetry: Thank you for sharing this important news. While a few have rightly raised valid doubts about if it will be seriously enforced even supposing it passes, this is indeed a landmark and historic draft bill for the health of people of Nepal. Let us all hope this is passed and legislated. For someone working in tobacco control and as a Nepali, nothing gives me great pleasure than knowing that the draft bill includes many important policies which perhaps for the first time are comprehensive enough to touch on prevention as well as protection of people from environmental tobacco smoke. In a country where the government and a handful of powerful private businesses run tobacco factories and where tobacco industry sponsors sports events and Jazz festivals to create and validate a perception that there is nothing wrong about smoking or using other forms of tobacco, we have a long way to go and yet is an important beginning. Thanks and best wishes to fellow Nepalis.
    Ohio (USA)

  13. pawan

    Hey Sudeep bro, South Indian are coward, that’s why they dont break rules and that is really shocking. Needless to say we Nepalese are brave Gurkhas.

  14. Sudeep Adiga

    To make a law is not a big deal but to Implement is a challange. Do you think
    that It is going to implement in our country. NoWay.. Even In India It is not allowed
    to smoke in public place but In Northern side of India.. No body obey this rule and
    when you move slowly southern you were shocked to know that no one is breaking the rule.
    why Government failed to implement same rule in same country..?? Its just public awareness and counts education too.
    So Nepali Government should emphasis more on education and really needy things not all this bullshit rules. These rules
    are all secondary things. I always feel that Nepali Government copy one or other rules from India. We nepalise are famous
    in breaking rules. And Do you think that Week Government can Implement This rule…??

  15. Saurav Takur

    I do support the idea of banding tobacco from every where. But moving one step forward why not to stop producing the tobacco product completely. Why not government stop producing and importing tobacco product.
    I don’t want to relate every one dying of TB and cancer is due to smoking. The great example is our own PM, who is chain smoker. If one can pick 100 names dying of smoking probably I can pick 10 names who smoke and age is above 70 of age. Probably the risk is high in smokers then non smokers.
    Saying all this I am not supporter of any such law. A public awareness is good rather then a law. Before doing any thing proper care should be taken of framers, workers associated with that business. Raising tax is not good idea. In one way it looks government is punishing some one for smoking but for me government is earning out of it. smoking should be banded but not by law

  16. Indra

    Surely, Nepal’s legislations have been failing at their implementation. Besides, implementing such laws will be a daring task because majority of the population is smoker which will oppose it or shall remain dumb when others violate it. However, if the civil society remains alert, it will be effective to stop smoking at public places that has been affecting many people, who are primarily non-smokers but passive smokers because of smokers’ company.

  17. Anup K. Shrestha

    Well its a good news for the non smokers as they don’t have to shy away from the puff of cigarette at least while they storll around in busy market, supermarket and other public places. But all depends on how the government will implement this act; as we all know that our government is very good at making legislation but fails in implement part. Anyway, it would be a step forward to make our country cleanier, healthier and better.

  18. surendra adhikari

    In addition to the laws, I would prefer extensive awareness program among the active smokers to make them understand that they are compelling the non smokers (passive smoker) enhale it, and among passive smoker who would be able to request them not to smoke before them. Thus such programs will help less intake of ciggrettee for the smokers.

  19. heretic

    This is hilarious at best. A “law” — that’s a joke. For a law to work, it has to be “enforced”. When was the last time that happened? Can anyone actually imagine people being stopped on the road for smoking? Not in this country, sir — not in a million years.

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