smoking ban

The world recently celebrated No Tobacco Day on 31 May. In this article we bring to you the details of public smoking ban in India and also how to register a complaint in case the smoke is getting to you.

Smoking in India

India has a long history of smoking. Atharveda first mentioned that cannabis was smoked in India around 2000 BC. Fumigation and fire offerings for medicinal purposes as prescribed by Ayurveda, has been in practice for around 3000 years. While dhumpana (drinking smoke), has been in practice for quite some time, tobacco was introduced to India only around 1600. Before modern times pipes with stems of different length and chillums were used as a tool to inhale smoke. Nowadays, cigarette smoking has replaced dhumpana. Beedi, a hand rolled herbal cigarette containing betel nut, cloves and a low proportion of tobacco is the only reminiscent of historical dhumpana.

Tobacco Legislations in India

Cigarettes (Regulation of Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 1975 mandating specific statutory health warnings on cigarette packs was the first Indian legislation regarding tobacco. A comprehensive tobacco control bill The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA) came into force on 1 May 2004. This brought all forms of tobacco products (both smoking and smokeless) under legislative control. Prohibition of sale to and by minors and in an area of 100 yards of any educational institute was brought into force. Rules for implementation of its provisions are notified by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare from time to time. Chandigarh in 2007 became the first smoke free city in India.

Download Now

Ban on public smoking

In 2008 the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare notified the Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places Rules, 2008 by which smoking in public places was prohibited form 2 October 2008, the day of Gandhi Jayanti. As per Section 3(l) of the COTPA, ‘public place’ means any place to which the public have access, but does not include any open space. Smoking is prohibited in open spaces visited by the public — like open auditoriums, stadiums, railway stations and bus stops. However, public places do not include parking spaces, roads, open market places, parks and private homes. A person caught smoking in public must pay a fine of Rs 200.

How to register a complaint?

The rules oblige the owner, proprietor, manager, supervisor or in-charge of the affairs of a public place to notify and display the names of the persons to whom a complaint of violation may be made. If the owner, proprietor, manager, supervisor or the authorized officer of a public place fails to act on report of such violation, the same then shall be liable to pay fine equivalent to the number of individual offences. In 2009, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare started a helpline for reporting smoking law violations. People can dial the National Toll Free Help line No. 1800-110-456 and register their complaints. Police constables are authorized to collect penalty only if they are accompanied by officers above the rank of inspector of police. State food and drug administration officers, district health society, representatives of panchayat raj institutions, chief medical officers at district- level and civil surgeons are among those who have additionally been authorized to take action within a defined jurisdiction. People should insist for a challan if they are fined for the violation.

Smoking Zones

COTPA allows smoking in hotels with 30 rooms or more, restaurants or pubs with seating capacity for 30 or more persons, and at airports. For this a smoking zone has to be set up which

  1. should be physically separated and surrounded by full-height walls;
  2. should have a system that lets the smoke go directly outside;
  3. should have an entrance with automatically closing doors;
  4. should not be used for other purposes like serving food, beverage or other services.


LawSikho has created a telegram group for exchanging legal knowledge, referrals and various opportunities. You can click on this link and join:

Follow us on Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more amazing legal content 



  1. One seller near my house sells tobacco and some smoking stuff and because of that I have many problems i tell him Numbers of time to not sell this product but he going to argue or some times fighting with me or use the bad words.
    What to do in such a situation help me figure out this.

  2. The home we live, They have their tobacco shop in front of home so they use machin at home for making tobacco product (kharra) which is welknown in nagpur district. The machin they use at home creates dangerous dust which is affecting to our health specially to my father and he recently had paralysis, the smell is untolerable. i often tried to advise them but they didn’t take my issue seriously. they are toubling us so much like they put tobacco in our cooler water and it smells like its a factory not home.
    City:- umred (Near New Post office), Name of the person operating such business Harish Paunikar and Nilesh Paunikar Sir if there is any legal procedures to complaint against them please advise us..

  3. I live in a building where I have rented a room on ground floor. There are some boys who live in this building smoke whole day and night also invite their friends to join them regularly. There is no separate ventilation in any room so all that smoke come and gather in my room. I am severe allergic to smoke and dust so I feel so uncomfortable when it reaches to my room. I m facing this problem for last 3 years bcoz I don’t have any other option I used to complaint about it to my landlord but now he is used to it and not doing any favour and even told me shift my room but I have no where to go. Please help me

  4. Hello all, I work in a IT Park in a Bangalore as a Tech support. Need to on how to file complaint against the security & facilities that has allowed the employees to smoke inside the IT park.

  5. Iam pursuing my bachelor’s degree in DNR college . Before my hostel which is adjacent to my college there are two small shops solding cigarettes to the my classmates and hostel friends .I warned them but none of them haven’t heard anything about this.I read an article in the Hindu news paper about the laws about the tobacco free college campuses and universities so I was happy but I came to know that the laws are only upto the papers only and no one has the responsibility to take care of the heritage of our great mother India .The youth has been addicted to this kind of things and was ruined their own lives for a simple cause of negligence of concerned authorities .Iam feeling very bad to comment this online and I request the authorities concerned to take a necessary action to curb these social evils . @@@@@@@@@@Thank you sir/Madam.

  6. Opposite to our house we have one school, in the corner of our street one cigarette shop is there, people are always smoking , the school building is 10 feet away from the shop. whom to complain and who will take action?

    • to the principal of the school and also inform the NTCP Cell or Civil surgeon of the District, or nearest police station.

  7. Hello,

    In January 2019 we moved in multi-storey apartment there are 22 floor in an apartment. I m on 20th floor. One old person smoking very heavily at 19th floor below my flat in balcony area and all smoke comes in our living room and travel through other rooms. I have a kid of six year as well I request him many times also MAKE a fight with this issue to him many time but he is not changed yet . Not sure what should I do? want to file complaint against them?

    I am living in Marunji, Pune, Maharashtra

    Please help.

    Vinod Khadilkar.

  8. Hello,

    In January 2019 we moved in multi-storey apartment there are 22 floor in an apartment. I m on 20th floor. One old person smoking very heavily at 19th floor below my flat in balcony area and all smoke comes in our living room and travel through other rooms. I have a kid of six year as well I request him many times also MAKE a fight with this issue to him many time but he is not changed yet . Not sure what should I do? want to file complaint against them?

    Please help.

  9. Hi,
    Most of the time I travelle in Government Bus or Indian Rail. Even some times I covered more than 1000 km every weekend..
    During the journey some people’s in the Train or Bus fire their cigarette or Bidi in the public (rush) which smelled very bad. If I or anyone else ask to stop smoking, they never listen, even some of the peoples argued and they do not stop smoking.
    In this situation I feel what happening in the country, Our PM has launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan across in the whole country and promoting them but no one is following their aim.
    Well Now can anyone tell me during this situation where to complaint to get them punish quickly?

  10. Hi,
    Most of the time I travelle in Govt. Bus and India Rail. Even some times I covered more than 1000 km every weekend..
    Some of the people’s in the Train and Bus fire their cigarette or Bidi between public(rush) which smelled very bad. If I or anyone else ask to stop smoking, they never listen, even some of the peoples argued and not stop smoking.
    In this situation I feel what happening in the country, The PM of India launched Swachhta Abhiyan across in the whole country India and promoting them but no one is following their aim.
    Well Now can anyone tell me during this situation where to complaint to get them punish quickly?

  11. The Number 1800110456 does not work. Please provide a number that works. Need to complaint about a general store illegally selling cigarettes and gutkhas within the society.

  12. Hi three months ago I purchased a floor in an apartment their are 8 flats 4 in front and 4 in back .. I m in 2 ND floor back side flat . In 1 st upper side flat their badly smoke in balcony area which is covered . And all smoke comes in my room I have a kid of two year as well I request him many times also MAKE a fight with this issue to him many time but he is not changed yet . Not what should I do want to file complaint against them .

  13. Fab hotels located in kalkaji Nehru enclave is a nuisance for the society. In spite of staff of hotel including owner informed about the matter they do nothing and boast of their high profile contacta. What to do.

  14. There is a tea shop in ground floor of my shop everyday more then 100 of people come stand and smoke there…what should I do and where to complaint

  15. I am a teacher from Kerala ,now a days a vast usage of cool lips are common among students which feel sad and shameful about this generation. Parents and teachers are not able to restrict them.please took any action about stopping all this sort of stuffs in Kerala .please if you all have the right and power to stop all things like cools,hands,smoke,alcohol etc .Do it right now.If authorities cannot do anything .please reply about the next step which i should do To ban those companies who kills our society.

  16. First ofall law should be altered, secondly it should be strictly followed. These smokers are killing million, our system should be hard to them

  17. Hi,
    I have a shop in malleshwaram, beside our shop one bakery is there. So many ppl come daily and smoke there. We have requested to bakery man but still its going on. How to complaint against it?

  18. Hi, I want to know if anything can be done about this issue. We have been living in our locality for over 20 years. About a few months ago, a new neighbour moved in the house next to ours; we share the same wall. Now, he is a smoker and our entire hall fills up with smoke everytime he lights a cigarette. We have requested him not to smoke, but he says that he is smoking in the privacy of his home. Would request you to suggest if anything could be done about this issue. We don’t mind taking a legal route to solve this problem. Thanks.

  19. I noticed people people smoking inside the bar in RG Royal hotel is yeshwanthpur, bangalore.
    When I complained to the manager Shetty who is in change of the bar, He was arguing with us saying that they have the license to do so.
    And his attitude towards us was very bad.
    Is there any forum where i can complain on the same?

  20. anti-smoking laws are not being implemented . I have seen in SBSTC bus ticket counters , few people are smoking , without bothering any law . Where is police ?

  21. Im from maharastra, ulhasnager, i need help in my area there is one pan shop side of my office which sell some kind of smoking drug and most of the people smoke it at that place, i try to say stop this things her so many time. But they dont understand, i have problem with this smoke come inside which not good for me, can u help me if i give you my address?

  22. sir,
    every evening between 5-10 pm inside amd outside the park which is surrounded by houses (means that is residential area), some boys and men come and Smoke cigarettes, weed and some even comsume alcohol.
    And we are very disturbed by all this because one cannot go the park as our parents know that some guys are smokingand drinking there. despite the complaint registered in nearest police station(new usmanpur) nothing has been done yet.
    one simply cannot sell tobacco products near residential area but one general store shopkeeper is selling chewing tobacco and cigarettes and police isn’t doing anything in this matter.
    the situation is very pathetic.

  23. Delhi NCR, Civil Lines , Rajpur Road, Battery Lane.
    There is a small shop there that sells cigarettes to underage people and it is situated close to 2 schools as well as a hospital.
    How can I stop the shop owner from selling them?

  24. So the law says that these a****s can smoke on the road?? Useless laws.. I hate going out cos of the rogues everywhere smoking.. we have a park for morning walk and the surroundings are full of bloody idiots smoking.. v go for fresh air there and instead are affected by the cigarette smoke.. I really want to throw these a****s into a closed room and smoke all the cigarettes they want to and LET ONLY THEM DIE for their deeds.. y shud anyone else for their stupidity??? I’m praying to GOD to kill all the smokers at once..

  25. I come regularly at punjab and haryana high court, chandigarh. I have seen peoples smoking here. even permanent employes of punjab and haryana high court and lawyers (who supposed to know laws very well) smoke openly. as big hotels have smoking zone in their premises, i want to know is there any smoking zone in punjab and haryana high court itself.

  26. Hi,
    I am an employee working in one of the companies in SP INFO City, Perugudi, Chennai – 600096.

    No.40, MGR Nedunchalai South, Kandanchavadi, Perungudi, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600096

    Near the back Gate there are so many TEA stalls, Juice Park, etc.. Lot of people are smoking there near the shops. Since, it is back gate, lot of people are using that way to reach main street. Well-educated people are disturbing others health by their bad habits. Most of the people are using this Back gate.. We are not able to pass by the way.. It is just disgusting… Is’t a offense..?? This is a public place right.. Lot of people are using the way and no one were able to go those shops because of these well-educated Idiots..

    They can ruin their life, but don’t they should have a social thinking before doing it for others..

  27. Hi my neighbor smokes in washroom and has constructed his ventilation fan (exhaust Fan) towards our home. whenever he smokes its enter our home we have removed our window n kept only a exhaust place so that smoke does not enters through washroom but due to he is a chain smoker continuously it enters and cause suffocation and due to his exhaust fan our washroom gets filled with the smoke. my mother is an asthmatic patient and passive smoking is really harmful for her as well as all of us at home.

    we have requested them not to smoke, we have closed appropriate openings but i believe its not helping… and I think that Indian Govt. cannot save us from this type of passive smoking. if any help can be done to stop this, kindly help.

  28. Saw few comments questioning on not getting receipt, but bigger question is why can’t such a……..s quit smoking… Passive smoking is equally dangerous…. if such idiots can’t live without smoking then they should go inside the smoking room and smoke as many cigarettes they want…

    • i agree .. here ppl are smoking actually in their washroom. i know this is something personal where we cannot tell them to stop. but as human n humanity they do not consider our request and this is causing serious health issue.. really not getting any help and this man is 60+ with family and his family supports him and repeatedly ignoring our request.

  29. Hi,
    Noida-Sec125, Infront of Amity University (Infront of Dell services building-Gate No.1)
    People are selling ciigarettes and gutkha openly. Sometimes related officials come for inspection but of no use.
    These illegal sellers hide for time being and continue selling these products everyday. There is no shop as such, but sell sitting on bricks and on a small wodden tables. Please take STRICT action on these and ensure that these illegal poison sellers are complete kicked away. Whenever I step out of the building, the atmosphere is as such filled with tobacco smoke – I agree it will still be there but could be controlled if its not available just outside the premises.
    You can call me for more details om 9999896786.

    Thank You!

  30. Dear Sir

    The avlone Bisness hub Ambatalavdii, Katargam Surat Gujarat India 395006

    Sir ths comersal bilding containe no of food brand like Ice cream, Restaurant and sone other but there is one smoking zone in middle of one shop. They have smoking zone inside but no body care and come out and smoking repidly in middle of promises I m worried coz there is lots of family come along with gher loved one and children also and such things will make lots of affect on the atmosphere I have related prof for that and if you can also come and check they are serving segarate to the student who is also under 18 so please do something on this issue this is very harmful for all the social people who come there to spend very good and quality time with there family this matter contain all the illegal activities which should be not allowed in crowed area so please do something on it.

  31. If I ask a person politely to smoke aside since he’s smoking in public and blowing the smoke on the face, then he replies in a bloody way that, I won’t move of you’ve to file a case means do.. Thn what shall be the suitable behavior we shld do with him??

  32. I work in an office and we have terrace where we sit for a lunch. sometime, while having lunch, one of our director come and starts smoking there. Even if we had put a “No Smoking” board there. Is there any way to stop this?

  33. I was smoking in front of B’lore railway station. One police came on a bike and ask for 200 Rs fine. I denied to pay him as he was not able to give me receipt. Now he took me to nearest police station. I paid but came back without receipt. Now question is why I had to go to police station sitting behind the police’s a** with my heavy luggage which I am not comfortable with? Why these polices don’t carry receipt for fine ? Even why I had to come back without receipt ? Where to complain all these ?

  34. This one is make sense, but how many are treating it as seriously, especially in trains that to those who are from north side. Even one police man also not even checking the passenger’s position in general compartment. They are getting these things like cigarette, guttka and vimal from workers those who are working in cattering services. Today I faced this issue in Telangana super fast express. I thought to take a snap of them those who are selling it and who are smoking in train seat only.

  35. We have a office space in a building named JMD Megapolis on Sohna Road, Sector-48, Gurgaon, Haryana. The building is not fully occupied so many offices are vacant/not constructed. The building is fully closed. People from other offices come in the vacant office spaces on the other side of the corridor and smoke there in groups. We have asked them many a times not to smoke there as the builder has already provided a designated area outside the building. Please suggest course of action as these people don’t seem to be bothered. Already called the Anti-tobacco helpline.

  36. neighbor cigarette smoking in the society common area on the floor the air gets polluted and enters our flat. in spite of many oral request complaint this continues, do we have any recourse against him/ society committee members?

  37. Address: Street no.8, Bhandarkar Road, opp cosmos Bank, Deccan Gymkhana, Pune 411004.

    Every evening 5pm to 10 pm, the road is being jammed by many youngsters with their vehicles. Smoking Cigaret, drinking cold coffee, chewing tobacco, public kissing and spoiling the total culture and poluting all the area in a no parking area. May I know who is the savior to us.


  38. ganesh meridian ,sola,nr.gujarat high court,ahmedabad,gujarat
    this complex on every floor in every 15 minutes people are smoking and disturbed other people
    so please take some legal actions my number 9099684496 paavan panchal

  39. I stay in a flat where my neighbor smoke in his balcony and smoke enters my house. He does not listen to any request. Is there any forum to complain against him?

    • Firstly no law prevents smoking in private homes. You both need to compromise and come to some understanding.

      Other option is to prevent smoke entering. Check where the leakage is and close it.

  40. I stay in a flat where my neighbor smoke in his balcony and smoke enters my house. He does not listen to any request. Is there any forum to complain against him?

    • Balcony of a private home is out of scope of this law. You both need to discuss and come to an understanding. Maybe he can smoke so and so hours or similar.

      Confrontation never helps such cases.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here