Notification declaring restaurants smoking-free places soon
Restaurants are smoking-free: Owners’ Association
Reported on: June 09, 2012 15:10 PM
Reported in: National
Dhaka, June 9 (UNB) – Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Muhammad Faruk Khan on Saturday said restaurants will be declared smoking-free public places issuing a notification in this regard by the next month.
His announcement came after the Bangladesh Restaurant Owners' Association declared the country’s all the restaurants as smoking-free places.
Announcing the decision at a seminar at the National Press Club on Saturday, association president Kamar Uddin Ahmed Khokon said they would try their best to enforce the decision in all the restaurants of the country, in an effort to supplement the government efforts to ensure a clean environment for all.
According to him, there are now some 55,000 restaurants across the country.
Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) and Bangladesh Restaurant Owners’ Association jointly arranged the seminar in collaboration with Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids.
Speaking on the occasion, the Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister said they would request for imposing more tax on tobacco products in the new budget to discourage people from using tobacco products.
He said, “We should not smoke in public places and discourage others to smoke in those places. We’ll resist those who smoke in front of us.”
DAM president Kazi Rafiqul Alam, who presided over the seminar, said if all restaurant owners come forward, then it will be possible to build a movement in the near future against smoking.
Restaurant Owners’ Association in cooperation with DAM has developed guidelines for making restaurants smoking-free places.
Faruk Khan unveiled the cover of the guidelines.
Citing GATT report 2009, other speakers said some 4.20 crore people of the country fall victims to passive smoking. A staggering 2.58 crore of them fall victims to passive smoking only in restaurants.
About 415 restaurants in the country under the fold of the Restaurant Owners’ Association will be made free from smoking.
Efforts will be made in phases to free all the restaurants of 40 districts under the Restaurant Owners’ Association from smoking as per the guidelines, they said.
If restaurants become tobacco-free, then the number of customers will not reduce rather the restaurants become more profitable. Restaurants abroad are already considered as smoking-free places and they are earning more, they said.
Bangladesh Restaurant Owners’ Association president Kamar Uddin Ahmed Khokon read out the keynote paper.
Bangladesh Restaurant Owners’ Association secretary general M Rezaul Karim Sarker Robin, members of Anti-Tobacco Alliance, representatives from government, non-governmental organisations and media were present.