KGMU survey finds large-scale violation of COTPA in UP restaurants

March 13, 2024
A joint survey conducted by King George’s Medical University (KGMU) and the Voluntary Health Association of India

Lucknow, March 13 (IANS) A joint survey conducted by King George’s Medical University (KGMU) and the Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI) has found that several hotels and restaurants in the state were violating the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), which prohibits smoking in certain public spaces.

On the occasion of No Smoking Day, observed on the second Wednesday of every month, hotel associations, doctors, and cancer victims across the country are urging the government to strengthen tobacco control laws to make India 100 per cent smoke-free.

The survey covered four cities in Uttar Pradesh — Lucknow, Kanpur, Gautam Buddha Nagar and Gorakhpur — and included 205 locations, comprising 69 hotels, 81 restaurants, and 55 resto-bars.

According to the survey findings, none of the restaurants had a designated smoking area, and among the establishments, none met the specifications for ventilation and safety.

Moreover, 99.5 per cent of them lacked signage specifying ‘No Smoking’ or ‘Smoking’ areas.

In Kanpur, 100 per cent of the resto-bars, and in Lucknow, 94 per cent of them provided smoking aids on their premises.

Dr Surya Kant, in-charge of the Tobacco Cessation Clinic and Head of the department of respiratory medicine at KGMU, warned of the dangers of passive smoking.

He explained, “When a person smokes, they inhale only 30 per cent of the smoke, while 70 per cent remains in the environment as environmental tobacco smoke.”

Dr Kant further emphasised that tobacco smoke contains over 7000 chemicals, 70 of which are carcinogenic, making passive smoking equally harmful as active smoking.

In India, smoking is banned in all public places under the COTPA 2003.

Section 4 of this Act prohibits smoking in any place accessible to the public. However, COTPA 2003 allows smoking in certain public places like restaurants, hotels, and airports, but only in designated smoking areas.

“Exposure to passive smoking occurs in eateries, specifically hotels, restaurants, bars, pubs, and clubs, putting the lives of thousands of non-smokers at risk,” said Dr Kant.



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