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Necessary steps will be taken to ensure a 100% smoke-free environment in the hospitality sector: Chairman, BPC

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‘Necessary steps will be taken to ensure a 100% smoke-free environment in the hospitality sector. For this, we have agreed to make all hotels, restaurants, and establishments affiliated to Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation smoke-free,’- said Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation Chairman Md. Ali Kadar. He said this while addressing a meeting at the conference room of Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation at Agargaon in the capital on March 10.

He was the chief guest at a seminar on ‘Role of Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation in building 100% smoke-free hospitality sector’ jointly organized by Dhaka Ahsania Mission and Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation in collaboration with Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK). Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation will also take the necessary steps for this purpose.

The meeting was chaired by Md. Abdus Samad, Director (Joint Secretary) of Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation. Md. Mostafizur Rahman, Lead Policy Advisor, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Hossain Ali Khondakar, Coordinator (Additional Secretary), National Tobacco Control Cell, Md. Taufiqul Islam, Treasurer, Bangladesh Restaurant Owners’ Association, Nadira Kiran, President, Aviation and Tourism Journalist Forum of Bangladesh (ATJFB), Iqbal Masud, Director, Health, and Wash Sector, Dhaka Ahsania Mission Spoke at the meeting. Project Coordinator Md. Shariful Islam presented the keynote paper at the meeting

Md. Mostafizur Rahman, Lead Policy Advisor of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Bangladesh, said that non-smokers have the right to protect themselves from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. However, the number of victims of secondhand smoke is higher. Since the smoke of smoking cannot be controlled. That’s why ‘designated smoking areas in all public places should be banned.

Md. Abdus Samad, Director (Joint Secretary), Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation, said, “We will take necessary steps on behalf of Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation to make all our establishments smoke-free as per the instructions of Chairman Sir.”

Nadira Kiran, president of the Aviation and Tourism Journalist Forum of Bangladesh (ATJFB), said there are laws in 63 countries, including Canada, Spain, and Nepal, to ban ‘designated smoking areas in public places to protect the health of non-smokers. This is an example for us. We can similarly take the initiative to ban ‘designated smoking areas’ to ensure a 100% smoke-free environment in all public places, including the hospitality sector.

Iqbal Masud, director of the health and wash sector at the Dhaka Ahsania Mission, said ‘designated smoking area’ is a barrier to keeping the ‘public place’ 100% smoke-free. Therefore, if the hospitality sector is kept completely smoke-free, all non-smokers including women, children, workers, and employees will be protected from the harm of secondhand smoking.

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