Ban sought in Bengaluru

| March 6, 2018

Tobacco smoking could be banned, rather than restricted, in restaurants, bars and cafés in Bengaluru, Karnataka, India, if a high-power committee on tobacco control has its way, according to a story by Sunitha Rao R for the Times of India.

Last month, the committee suggested that designated smoking zones should no longer be allowed in bars, restaurants and cafés.

It said that providing such zones provided the opportunity for establishments to violate the rules.

“No restaurant has maintained the designated smoking zone as per norms,” said committee member Dr. Vishal Rao U S. “In some cases, smoke from these zones is being let into children’s play areas, resulting in passive smoking. The recent Global Adult Tobacco survey data shows India has high exposure to second-hand smoking.”

Section 3 of the Karnataka Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non-Smokers Act 2001 prohibits smoking in public places.

“We’ve suggested to the BBMP (the administrative body – Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) to ban smoking in bars, hotels, restaurants, pubs and cafés and not allow any designated areas for smoking,” he added.

The BBMP’s joint commissioner for health, Sarfaraz Khan, said notices would be issued to all pubs, bars, restaurants and hookah bars in the city about implementing the relevant act. Simultaneously, inspections would be conducted.

Khan said that during inspections of many hotels and pubs, it was found that their smoking zones were not compliant with the act. Smoking zones could be created in restaurants with more than 30 tables, but they should “ideally” have exhaust fans and be such that smoke did not enter other rooms. These provisions were being violated everywhere, he said.

G Honnagiri Gowda, president of the Karnataka Wine Merchants’ Association and representative of the Karnataka Pub Owners’ Association, said the associations would support the ban. “It has become a nuisance for other customers every time a person smokes inside pubs,” he said.

And K Shamaraju, treasurer of the Federation of Hotel and Restaurants Association of India, said many hotels had already banned smoking. “We have implemented the rule,” he said. “Customers who want to smoke are told to go outside. Smoking is not entertained within restaurant premises.”

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Category: Breaking News, Regulation

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