HYDERABAD: The harmful effects of cigarette-smoking should not come across as news, even to smokers. During the Covid-19 pandemic, lung and respiratory complications were reported in many patients. Hence, more restaurants and hotels in Hyderabad are not permitting smoking on their premises to attract more customers and business.
Going completely smoke-free is improving profits by saving the costs of maintaining designated smoking areas (DSAs) and helps in safeguarding the health of their employees and customers, especially during the pandemic.
Chairman of the Telangana State Hotels Association (TSHA) MS Nagaraju says families prefer restaurants and hotels that do not allow smoking. “Many members of our association have voluntarily decided to become 100 per cent smoke-free and we are motivating others to follow. We want Telangana to be a model State in making all restaurants and hotels 100 per cent smoke-free. It is the right time for the government to completely ban smoking areas, thereby making it easy for us to do away with these,” he says.
Smoking is banned in all public places as per the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003. However, it is allowed in DSAs of certain public places such as restaurants, hotels and airports.
A study, conducted in eight Indian cities by the Institute for Global Tobacco Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, revealed that among the 3,243 venues (including 836 bars, 971 hotels and 1,436 restaurants), only 120 had DSAs. Three per cent of these DSAs are compliant across all mandated specifications.