The ban, which includes all offices and restaurants, will hit its estimated 240 million tobacco users, who are likely to find their homes and cars among the last few places to light up.
The government cites the economic costs and the need to stem the loss of human lives but tobacco firms say the ban infringes on individual rights.
Everyone agrees, though, that implementing the ban could be a problem and much will depend on compliance rather than enforcement.
The ban includes schools and colleges, pubs and discotheques, hospitals and bus stops. Offenders will be fined 200 rupees ($4).
"Don't wait for enforcing authorities to catch you," said
Past attempts to ban spitting and urinating in public in
While rules limiting advertising, marketing and sales existed before, implementation was not very effective.
Not everyone is happy with the ban. Many say a lack of smoking rooms mean they would be deprived of a stress-busting puff in offices and other public places.
"The intention may be good, but are we a nanny state?" asked Sanjay Yadav, a furtive puffer on a
Rajesh Kumar, a tobacco products seller, says he did not expect sales to drop. "Smokers will smoke," he said, adding he hoped to continue selling the some 50 packets a day he sold now.
Official figures say that with its 240 million tobacco users
But that is still a small market compared to
With cigarette sales growing at an average annual rate of about 5-6 percent, ICICI Securities estimates,
So, much is at stake for
The case is scheduled to come up in Supreme Court on Nov. 18, an ITC spokesman said.
ITC, which also has interests in apparel, software and paperboard, has been pushing into packaged foods and personal care products as it seeks to cut its reliance on cigarettes.
Still, cigarettes make up a lion's share of its profits, with the new initiatives expected to contribute only gradually.
With the ban,
Worldwide, more than five million people die of tobacco related illnesses now. This, the WHO says, will rise to more than eight million in the next 20 years, most of them coming from low and middle income countries such as