If you enjoy having a smoke on the beach in Goa, it could soon be a thing of the past. Smoking in public places is the latest concern of the Goan government, which intends to step up action to enforce bans under the Goa Prohibition of Smoking and Spitting Act, 1997.
Section 5 of the Act states that no one shall smoke or spit in any place of public work or use (including beaches). However, the law is widely flouted, especially by tourists. And, it seems that the Goan government has had enough.
According to this news report, the government recently announced plans to make all Goa beaches smoke free by the end of October, when the tourist season starts. Apparently, it's also put a condition in beach shack allotments that will prohibit the use of hookahs.
The government expects the move to be an unpopular one. Fearing backlash, it's decided to start off by enforcing the smoking ban at relatively uncrowded Miramar beach (near Panaji), to create awareness before spreading it to beaches such as Calangute. Many people feel that there are more pressing environmental issues, such as discarded plastic bags that litter the beach, so it will be interesting to see what happens.
What are your thoughts about it?
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