On a Madras high court directive to take stringent steps against smoking in public places, the city police on Tuesday levied fines on 355 people for the offence.
The youngsters are falling prey to the habit and this was becoming a menace, according to police reports.
The ban, introduced in 2004, was not being implemented effectively. According to the Police sources that, they had received several complaints from people who were being forced to be passive smokers.
During Tuesday's drive policemen fined various people including school and college students who were smoking in public places. Many of them were caught unawares by the surprise checks.
A law states that tobacco or any tobacco products should not be sold anywhere near schools and educational institutions in Tamil Nadu, Indian media reports.