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Kathmandu Metropolis Imposes Up to Rs 100,000 Fines for Public Tobacco Use: Stringent Regulations Effective December 13

Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) is set to introduce stringent measures against the sale and consumption of tobacco products in public areas, commencing December 13, in accordance with key legislative acts governing public health and tobacco control.

This decision entails a comprehensive ban on the sale of tobacco products across various public domains, including eateries, recreational spaces, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and transportation hubs. The regulation specifies that tobacco products, notably cigarettes, can only be sold in sealed packets situated at a considerable distance—200 meters—from these public zones. Furthermore, vending tobacco products to individuals below the age of 18 is strictly prohibited.

Exceptions exist for limited use in designated areas within prisons, airports, or specific hotels catering to tourists, ensuring minimal disruption to others. Rajunath Pandey, KMC Police Chief, clarified that while cigarettes might be permissible in these designated zones, the sale of other tobacco-related items will be entirely prohibited.

KMC has issued a 15-day ultimatum to tobacco product dealers and manufacturers for compliance with these new regulations. Chief of the Metropolitan Health Branch, Ram Prasad Poudel, affirmed robust enforcement, with authorities empowered to confiscate tobacco products sold in public areas. Individuals found using tobacco in these spaces face fines ranging from Rs 25,000 to Rs 100,000, while those littering with tobacco products will be penalized under the Garbage Act.

This proactive stance by KMC aims to curb public tobacco use, filling the gap left by the incomplete implementation of the Tobacco Product Control and Regulation Act for over a decade by the government. The stringent measures underscore the city’s commitment to promoting a healthier, smoke-free environment for its residents and visitors.

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