The ministry of Health has directed the managements of hotels and restaurants to stop allocating designated areas for smokers in their premises which allow them to use cigarettes, pipes, cigars and sheesha.
According to official sources, they have been asked to implement anti-tobacco laws to protect the health of non-smokers as there is no permission of allocating any designated area for smokers. While taking notice of open use of tobacco in the premises of hotels, restaurants and international food chains, the ministry has asked the Chairman of Pakistan Hotels Association and President of Pakistan Food Association to take immediate steps for a complete ban on any form of smoking.
They said smoking in any form is totally banned in all places of public work or use including hotels and restaurants under section 2 of the Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non-smokers Health Ordinance 2002.
Officials said it has been decided that the Federal Enforcement Committee with the representation of Ministry of Health, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Ministry of Interior will conduct surprise visits to check the violation of the ordinance in the federal capital.
Sources said the committee will also make plans to create awareness among citizens regarding the negative effects of smoking and educate them about the tobacco control laws for proper implementation. They said District Implementation Committees have also been given the task to educate citizens about such laws to stop open use of tobacco in public places and offices. All stakeholders will be taken on board for proper implementation of the ordinance.
It was said that officials of all concerned ministries who are members of such a committee will make strategies to implement the tobacco control laws in their respective departments including educational institutions, offices etc.