Friday, October 3, 2008

India bans smoking in public, tobacco firms fume

By Krittivas Mukherjee

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India banned smoking in public places on Thursday in an attempt to fight tobacco use blamed, directly or indirectly, for a fifth of all deaths in the world's third-largest consumer.

The ban, which includes all offices and restaurants, will hit its estimated 240 million tobacco users, who are likely to find their homes and cars among the last few places to light up.

The government cites the economic costs and the need to stem the loss of human lives but tobacco firms say the ban infringes on individual rights.

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