KATHMANDU, Dec 4: The Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) is set to enforce a ban on the sale and consumption of tobacco products in public places within the metropolis, starting from December 13, in accordance with the Municipal Public Health Act, 2080, and the Tobacco Products Control and Regulation Act, 2068.
Under this decision, the sale of tobacco products in various public locations, including restaurants, bars, canteens, hostels, covered halls, lodges, guest houses, stadiums, physical fitness exercise centers, government offices, educational institutions, health institutions, children's homes, old age homes, public toilets, orphanages, gardens, industrial and factory workplaces, cinema halls, theaters, cultural centers, hotels, motels, resorts, hospices, bus parks, ticket counters and airports will be prohibited.
The Act specifies that tobacco products, including cigarettes, can only be sold in closed packets located 200 meters away from public places. Additionally, the sale of tobacco products to individuals under the age of 18 is strictly prohibited.
Exceptions are made for the controlled use of tobacco products in specific areas of prisons, airports, or tourist-level hotels, ensuring that it does not adversely affect others. Rajunath Pandey, Chief of the KMC Police, stated that cigarettes may be allowed in these specified places as per the law, but the sale of other tobacco-related products will be completely prohibited.
The KMC has notified dealers and manufacturers of tobacco products, providing them with a 15-day deadline for compliance, in order to implement the decision.
Chief of the Metropolitan Health Branch, Ram Prasad Poudel, assured effective implementation of the decision. He said that police would confiscate tobacco products sold in public places, imposing fines ranging from Rs 25,000 to Rs 100,000 on individuals caught using tobacco in public areas.
Additionally, actions will be taken under the Garbage Act against those found littering with tobacco products in public spaces. The KMC aims to take a proactive stance on curbing tobacco use in public areas as the Tobacco Product Control and Regulation Act of 2011 has not been fully implemented by the government in over 12 years.