Karnataka government on Friday directed bars, pubs, hotels and restaurants in the state to have designated standing rooms for smoking. The establishments failing to comply with the recent directive will have their license invalidated, the state government has said in its latest order.

Any violations will result in cancellation of licences under the Karnataka Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Health of Non-Smokers Act 2001, UT Khader, warned Karnataka’s Urban Development and Housing Minister.

The circular was issued by the Directorate of Municipal Administration.

Smoking will be allowed in the restricted area only after obtaining a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the civic body concerned. The eatery should have a seating capacity above 30 to obtain the certificate. Non-smokers and under-18 individuals are restricted from these areas.

This move is in an attempt to protect non-smokers, especially women and children, from the dangers of second-hand smoke, said Khader.

“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,” he added.

Though all the rules and regulations do not eliminate everything, it will bring about an awareness, the minister said.

Food, chairs, tables, ashtrays, matchboxes and lighters should not be allowed, said the order.

In 2008, the Supreme Court had banned smoking at public places, including auditoriums, cinemas, hospitals, public transport — aircraft, buses, trains, metros, monorails, taxis — airports, bus stands, railway stations, restaurants, hotels, bars, pubs, offices (government and private), libraries, courts, post offices, markets, shopping malls, banquet halls, discotheques, coffee houses etc across the country. According to the order, one could smoke on roads, homes, personal vehicles and smoking rooms at bars and restaurants.

The fire department had raised a concern about fire safety in the eating outlets in a letter which states open fire sources like smoking are potential causes for fire hazards, stated the circular.

The new directive came in as a part of a joint consultation meeting titled Advancing Urban Health Policies, Key Policies for NCD Prevention, organised by the state government in association with the National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research (NCDIR), the Association of Healthcare Providers (India) and the Association of National Board Accredited Institutions.

The newly formed coalition government in the state affirms that the rule will be strictly implemented in Karnataka.Smoking rooms a mandatory in pubs, restaurants, says Karnataka government

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