The Election Commission has banned all kinds of tobacco in polling booths during next year’s general elections, in a bid to effectively implement tobacco control laws in the country.
The Commission has asked all states and Union Territories to issue instructions to district electoral officers-cum-district magistrates to ensure prohibition of not just smoking, but also the use of chewable tobacco in all polling booths.
The Commission’s guidelines said all the polling booths in the country to be declared tobacco-free and not just smoke-free and hence use of bidi, cigarette, gutkha, chewable tobacco are prohibited in all polling booth. As per the guidelines, each polling booth will have a banner put up, saying the same.
The presiding officer of each polling booth will be nominated as the nodal officer for ensuring tobacco-free status at their booths. All district tobacco control cells will supervise and monitor this campaign to sensitize people on ill effects of tobacco.