The new circular will help in protecting thousands of staff and non-smoking customers especially women and children from harms of Second-hand smoking in the state of Karnataka This was issued as a part of Joint Consultation Meeting ‘Advancing Urban Health Policies, Key policies for NCD prevention’organised by Government of Karnataka in association with National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research (NCDIR), Association of Healthcare Providers (India) and Association of National Board Accredited Institutions.
The Joint Consultation Meeting was Chaired By Sri U.T Khader, Hon’ble Minister for Urban Development and Housing, Government of Karnataka, in Presence of Dr Regina M Benjamin, Fmr. Surgeon General of USA. This high level consultation Meeting was attended by, MLC Sri Srikante Gowda, Rajajinagar MLA Sri Suresh Kumar, Sri Javed Akthar, Principal Secretary Health and Family welfare, Sri Anjum Parvez, Principal Secretary Urban development Department, Sri Manjunath Prasad, Commissioner BBMP, Pankaj Kumar Pandey, Commissioner Health and Family Welfare.
According to WHO, Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) mainly CVDs, Stroke, Diabetes, Cancer, Lung Diseases, etc., are attributed nearly to 61% of deaths in India and in 2008, NCDs accounted for 5.2 million deaths. Tobacco is one of the risk factors for NCDs and globally 14% of all NCDs deaths among adults are attributed to tobacco. During the consultation it was decided to take stringent step towards removal of Smoking zones in bars and restaurants which are clear violation of COTPA and Karnataka Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non-smokers Health Act (KPSPNH).
Sri U.T Khader, Hon’ble Minister for Urban Development and Housingsaid, “Recent studies have shown that there is no safe-level of Second hand smoking, we are concerned about the health of the staff who are working in Hotels and Bars and customers especially women and children in light of all scientific evidences pointing out that second-hand smoking is as harmful as smoking. This issue needs to be addressed on priority. We have significant evidence from the world’s best cities that making smoke-free hotel environment improves the business. We are confident that hotels and bars associations in state will welcome and support this initiative. Hotels, Clubs & Bars owe a legal and moral responsibility of protecting the Right to health of their Staff and Customers.” He also observed that fire safety is equally important concern as that of health. Fire department had raised a concern in a correspondence about fire safety in bars and restaurants which states open fire sources like smoking are potential causes for fire hazards.
Speaking on the occasion Dr. Prashant Mathur, director NCDIR said,“Second Hand Smoking (SHS) is a major cause of cardio-vascular diseases. Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) shows that exposure to tobacco smoke by non-smokers is 23.9% at public places and 14% of this exposure happens at Eateries, hotels, bars & restaurant etc. This is because of a provision to allow smoking
in the premises. Hence, to prevent the major chunk of second hand smoke exposure and for effective prevention of diseases it causes, it is a must to prevent smoking in public places. It is necessary that Designated Smoking Areas must be removed as most of the facilities providing this do not follow the norms as specified by the law and put non-smokers at risk.”
Dr. Alexander Thomas, President of Association of Healthcare Providers (India) said “We are happy that earlier circular issued by BBMP to make Bars and Restaurants in the Bengaluru city go Smoke-free is being effectively implemented, now this new circular will make Bars and Restaurants in the state go smoke-free. This important measure is taken to safeguard the public from harms of second hand smoking by removing illegal smoking areas.”