Tobacco smoking has been considered as a menace and more and more people are known to suffer from smoking related diseases with each passing day. In a recent survey which spanned five states in India, it was found that over 100 million schools were directly within the tobacco grasp. Over 48% of all educational institutions in Rajasthan, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Orissa, had tobacco vendors stationed right outside the school gates. This is against the law, which prohibits tobacco sellers to sell tobacco within the 100 meter barrier of a school.

cigarette smoking in Indian schools

As per the latest statistical data, in India alone, 37% of all children who fall below the age of ten years start smoking regular cigarettes. Almost 5,500 new children aged below 10 years are known to smoke tobacco cigarette and are known to join the tobacco brigade by becoming tobacco addicts on a daily basis. It is ironical that none of the tobacco vendors which had stationed their shops right outside school premises had been persecuted by the government agencies. In fact, they continue to thrive and have set up permanent shops right outside the school premises, wherein they sell tobacco to school kids on a daily basis.

The Global Youth Tobacco Survey, which is known to undertake surveys on a regular basis, has ascertained that 14.1% of all youth in India are known to consume some or the other form of tobacco. 51.7% have been known to smoke regular cigarettes; while 72.5% minors were permitted to purchase cigarette packs, despite the fact that they belonged to the minor category. As per the law, a 60cm x 30cm board should be placed right in front of the shops displaying that smoking for minors is not permitted, yet such boards are hard to find in shops which sell tobacco in India.

As per the Section 6 of COTPA, no tobacco vendor is permitted to set shop within 100 meters from a school premises. Nonetheless, this rule is regularly flaunted and tobacco vendors have been known to set shop right outside the school gates, thereby luring young and vulnerable student to try their hands on the deadly tobacco products and become lifelong addicts. The human resource development standing Parliamentary Committee has earlier suggested in the year 2001 that tobacco vendors should not be permitted to set up their shops within a distance of 500 yards from the school premises. While this has become a rule, no one in India, including the concerned government authorities, seems to following this rule.