KATMANDU (AP) ― Nepal has banned smoking in public and threatens to punish repeat offenders with steep fines.
Airports, hotels, restaurants, government offices and public transport will now be smoke-free under the new law that went into effect Sunday.
A man smokes near Basantapur Durbar Square in Katmandu, Nepal, Sunday. (AP-Yonhap News)
Health Ministry official Komal Prasad Acharya says government workers will issue fines of 100 rupees ($1.40) to people violating the ban and up to 100,000 rupees ($1,400) for repeat offenders.
More than 40 percent of Nepalese smoke cigarettes or other tobacco products including hand-rolled bidis and hookah pipes, with more people puffing in the countryside than in cities.