People smoke more in non air-conditioned restaurants than in air-conditioned ones
Violation of the overall tobacco control law has been found in almost 98 percent restaurants surveyed in Dhaka city, reveals a study of Dhaka Ahsania Mission.
The survey by a non-government development organisation was conducted on 371 restaurants under the two city corporations of the capital in June last year.
Among them, 211 restaurants are in Dhaka north and the rest are in Dhaka south.
Only 54 of the restaurants surveyed had membership of the Bangladesh Restaurant Owners Association (BROA).
The survey findings were published on Saturday in a virtual programme jointly organised by the Dhaka Ahsania Mission and the BROA.
The survey also found people smoking at over 17 percent of the restaurants.
Besides, more people were smoking in non-air conditioned restaurants (nearly 40 percent) than in air-conditioned ones (about 5 percent).
Around 98 percent of the restaurants had no sign of a smoking-free zone, while only around two percent of eateries were found to have one, though customers were smoking there regardless.
There were more smokers (about 40 percent) in restaurants that were not Broa members.
"As restaurants are public places declared by the government, smoking is prohibited there. Although most people comply with the rule, political leaders, activists and even local administration employees smoke there," said Rezaul Karim Sarker Robin, secretary-general of Broa.
To complete the survey, a pre-census was conducted from February to March last year on the total number of restaurants in Dhaka city, said Sharmeen Rahman, senior programme officer of Dhaka Ahsania Mission.
According to the study, the total number of restaurants found was 5,869 under both the city corporations of Dhaka.
Meanwhile, around 35 percent of the restaurants did not have a trade licence.
BROA Secretary General Rezaul Karim said, "Having a trade licence from the city corporation is mandatory to open a restaurant. Besides, a permission letter from Broa is also compulsory but that has not been maintained properly."
The survey findings were presented by Md Mokhlesur Rahman of Dhaka Ahsania Mission while the programme was conducted by Syed Mohammad Andalib, office secretary of Broa.