Bihar has become the second state after Delhi to declare all its 72,723 polling booths in the Lok Sabha elections as ‘tobacco-free’.
Bihar had in 2014 declared all its booths smoke-free, which meant, one was barred from smoking either cigarette or bidi. This time, the state notified its polling booths tobacco-free for the Lok Sabha elections, which meant use of guthka, scented/chewable tobacco (khaini) will also be completely prohibited within the premises of every polling booth.
A letter in this regard was issued by chief electoral officer (CEO), HR Srinivas, directing all district electoral officers of all 40 Lok Sabha constituencies to ensure that prohibition in all polling booths.
The move, said officials, is aimed at raising general awareness on the health hazards associated with smoking and consumption of other tobacco products.
All district tobacco control centres have been directed to supervise and monitor the campaign to sensitise the adult population on the ill-effects of tobacco usage to tackle the menace. Each polling booth will also sport a wall painting or banner which will warn on use of tobacco products.