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The News Minute | September 23, 2014 | 1.47 pm IST Smokers in public places will now need to escape the eyes of not only the police but the excise officials too. The Kerala government has given the excise department powers to arrest those who smoke in public places, reported Malayalam daily Manorama. According to the central legislation to control the usage and sale of tobacco products, all officers with a gazette rank could take into custody any person smoking in a public place but, the power to arrest the offender remained only with the police. The Kerala state government has ordered that it will give this power to the excise department also. The excise officials can now register a case against the offenders. Also, the excise officials have been empowered o take action against those who illegally store and sell tobacco products.

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