Traveling smokers, beware: India bans smoking in public places

Smokers who visit India better be careful about where they choose to light up, or they might just find themselves faced with… wait for it… a $5 fine.

Yes, India has just become the latest in a long line of countries to ban smoking in public places, including hospitals, train stations, and even bars. Government officials who supported the legislation, which was passed on the birthday of India’s most famous non-smoker, say that the ban is necessary to protect the health of India’s roughly 120 million smokers, half of whom are under 30.

But the ban is not without its critics. Many question whether such a broad ban can truly be enforced, especially in India, while others see the new law as an unnecessary infringement on people’s abilities to make their own choices.

What do you think, Gadling faithful? Is the smoking ban necessary to protect public health, or an unwarranted interference with personal freedom?