EC prohibits tobacco use in polling booths during Lok Sabha elections

Why in News?

  • The Election Commission of India (ECI), for the first time, has banned all kinds of tobacco in polling booths during the general elections in 2019. The move is aimed at effectively implementing tobacco control laws across the nation.
  • The Commission has asked all states and UTs to issue instructions to all the district electoral officers-cum-district magistrates to ensure prohibition of not just smoking but also the use of chewable tobacco in all polling booths in the country.


  • All the polling booths in country to be declared tobacco free and not just smoke free so use of bidi, cigarette, gutkha, scented/ flavoured chewable tobacco are prohibited in all polling booth.
  • As per the guidelines, each polling booth will have a banner put up.
  • The presiding officer of each polling booth will be nominated as nodal officer for ensuring tobacco-free status at their booths.
  • All district tobacco control cells will supervise and monitor this campaign to sensitise people on ill effects of tobacco.
  • The move comes after Delhi government’s Health Department approached the Commission seeking declaration of all polling stations as tobacco-free zones rather than just declaring them as smoke-free as it used to be in previous elections.
  • It is stated that tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of disease, disability and pre-mature death and major threat to the present and future health of any population.
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