The occasion of No Tobacco Day was greeted with a resolution by Mumbai taxi drivers of making their taxis smoke-free. The event also had a taxi rally on Marine drive to promote awareness about the evil effects of smoking Bond.
The Smoke Free Mumbai Campaign and the Mumbai motor vehicle department conducted a survey on 298 taxi drivers to gauge the smoking habits of taxi drivers and passengers. Almost 96% of the drivers were in support of banning smoking in taxis and public places. While 55% were regular tobacco consumers, the familiarity about their evil effects was as high as 92%. While most were in support of banning smoking in taxis, a relatively low number of people were aware of the existence of the law – 44%. However, 75% of them knew even the exact fine for violation of the law.
The survey also included the passengers encountered by the drivers. “Around 43% of the drivers claim that around 6-10 passengers smoke in their taxis daily. While many request them not to smoke, there are a few who ignore it in spite of the ban. This movement is aimed at spreading awareness in people about the law and the ill-effects of smoking and we will be distributing 2,00,000 stickers among the taxi drivers,” said Dr P C Gupta, director of Healis-Sekhasarja Institute of Public Health and the head of the survey.