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India's Smoking Ban

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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(Photo: Getty Images) Fascinating health policy news from the world's largest democracy: "India will mark the anniversary of Gandhi's birthday tomorrow in a manner the famously ascetic Mahatma would probably approve of by imposing the world's biggest smoking ban. At a stroke some 1.2 billion people will be forbidden from lighting up in bars, offices, bus stands and other public places on pain of a 200 rupee (2.40) fine, equivalent to a day's wages for many. Health experts admit the new edict is likely to be widely flouted India has already outlawed spitting and urinating in public, to little noticeable effect."

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Also, if you think we mentioned this story just so we had an excuse to run this amazing related picture of these Indian children dressed up as the Mahatma you are absolutely correct, because it is frigging adorable.

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