The Election Commission of India (ECI), for the first time ever, on 27th December 2018 has notified to ban all kinds of tobacco in polling booths during the Lok Sabha General Elections 2019.
This initiative is aimed at effectively implementing tobacco control laws across the nation.
ECI has asked all states and UTs to issue instructions to all the district electoral officers-cum-district magistrates to ensure prohibition of not just smoking but also the use of chewable tobacco in all polling booths in the country.
According to the ECI guidelines, all polling booths in the country are to be declared tobacco-free and not just smoke-free. The use of bidi, cigarette, gutkha, scented or flavored chewable tobacco will be prohibited. Each polling booth will be required to have a banner put up, stating the same.
The presiding officer of each polling booth will be nominated as the nodal officer for ensuring tobacco-free status at their booths.
All district tobacco control cells will supervise and monitor this campaign to sensitize people on ill effects of tobacco.
Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional body responsible for the election process to Lok Shaba, Rajya Shaba, and State legislatures.
Headquarters: New Delhi
Chief Election Commissioner: Sunil Arora