This new circular will help in protecting thousands of staff and non-smoking customers especially women and children from harms of Second-hand smoking
August 29: BBMP has asked city’s all hotels and bars to go smoke-free. This come in wake of an awareness program organized in the BBMP council meeting on August 28, which focussed on safeguarding the public health interest of non-smokers from passive smoking or second-hand smoking. His Worshipful Mayor of Bengaluru Shri R Sampath Raj had launched a media campaign, #SmokefreeBengaluru. Members of council raised concern over increasing number of smoking areas in bar & restaurants, pubs and clubs which are clear violation of COTPA and Karnataka Prohibition of Smoking Act. The council with one voice stressed upon the need to curb these illegal smoking areas/zones. Hon’ble Mayor assured stringent action on those bar & restaurants, pubs, and clubs who are violating law. A new circular has also been issued by the BBMP in this regard.
Speaking on the circular Worshipful Mayor, said, “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 city 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.
BBMP ruling party leader, Shri. M Shivaraju 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 for prevention of 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.”
BBMP Commissioner Shri Manjunath Prasad regarding the circular said, “we had launched an initiative called Smoke-free Bengaluru in October last year, which saw may effective awareness campaigns and enforcement drives. Now we have taken measures to safeguard the public from harms of second hand smoking by removing illegal smoking areas.” Public places like Bars, Clubs & Hotels which violates the COTPA Section 4 and Karnataka Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non-smokers Health Act (KPSPNH) which prohibits smoking in restaurants and do not allow smoking in any area that serves food/alcohol or any other items. Currently most hotels, Clubs and bars in city have self-designated smoking areas which are a complete violation of the existing laws. Concerned owners of these pubs, clubs and bar & restaurants are hereby requested to co-operate with us and remove these illegal smoking areas, violation of this will result in cancellation of trade license. For effective implementation of tobacco control law BBMP has established a Tobacco Control Cell, under the health wing. If any establishments like pubs, hotels, bar & restaurants having a seating capacity of more than 30, wish to create a designated smoking area as per law, it is mandatory for them to get NOC from the BBMP Tobacco Control Cell. We request all citizens to participate in this initiative and be aware about the harms of second-hand smoking and don’t be a victim of passive smoking.”