As per the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement, Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, supply, and Distribution) Act,2003, Section 4 smoking in a public place is prohibited in terms of Tobacco Act. For the facility of reference, Section 4 of the Tobacco Act reads as under:

“4. Prohibition of smoking in a public place – No person shall smoke in any public place; Provided that in a hotel having thirty rooms or a restaurant having seating capacity of thirty persons or more and in the airports, a separate provision for smoking area or space may be made.”

For the facility of reference, Section 3(n) of the Tobacco Act reads as under:

As per section 3(n) “smoking “means smoking of tobacco in any form whether in form of cigarette, cigar, beedis or otherwise with the aid of a pipe, wrapper or any other instruments.

From the perusal of section 4 of the Tobacco Act, it can be said that a restaurant having a seating capacity of thirty persons or more can have separate provisions for smoking area or space may be made.That that The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act 2003 was an Act of Parliament enacted in 2003 to prohibit the advertisement of and to provide for the regulation of trade and commerce in and production, supply and distribution of cigarettes and other tobacco products in India. It was enacted by Parliament to give effect to Resolution passed by the 39th World Health Assembly (WHA), urging member states to implement measures to provide non-smokers protection from involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke. 

WHAT IS PUBLIC PLACE?

As per section 3(l) of the Tabacco Act “Public place” means any place to which the public have access, whether as a right or not, and includes auditorium, hospital buildings, railway waiting room, amusement centres, restaurant, public offices, court building, education institutions, libraries, public conveyances and the like which are visitied by general public but does not include any open space.

 MURLI S.DEORA V. UNION OF INDIA 

The issue to make public places, smoke-free has been long adjudicated upon since 2001. The Hon’ble Supreme of India in Murli S. Deora v Union of India, (SC) had prohibited smoking in public places regarding Article 21 of the Constitution of India. That Fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, inter alia, that none shall be deprived of his life without due process of law. That a non-smoker should not be afflicted by various diseases, including lung cancer or of heart, only because he is required to go to public places. That smoking is injurious to health and may affect the health of smokers, but there is no reason that the health of passive smokers should also injuriously be affected, that in any case, there is no reason to compel non-smoker to be helpless victims if air pollution. 

BAN ON SMOKING HOOKAH IN PUNJAB 

Hookah smoking has become very popular among school and college students. That even in the restaurant, it is served openly without any isolation between non- smokers, and Smokers. That restaurant is a public place and, as per section 4 of The Tobacco Act which mentions that “smoking is banned in public places”. A restaurant is a public place as per section (3)(i) of the Tobacco Act. Last year, The Punjab Government had decided to impose a permanent ban on hookah bars in the state instead of issuing temporary orders against them every two months. The proposed amendment was approved by the state assembly in March 2018, and late in November 2018, the President has given assent to the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply, and Distribution) (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2018. Punjab became the third state in the country after Gujarat and Maharashtra, where Hookah bars or lounges were banned through law. In December 2015, the Gujarat government banned hookah bars running across the state and warned of stringent punishment if the orders are defied. Further, the Punjab government followed the footsteps to ensure a smoke-free environment for its citizens.