All IT companies in Bangalore and across Karnataka have been asked to comply with the law prohibiting smoking in public spaces. Smoking is banned inside the campus and also around the campus premises. Employees are also prohibited from smoking near the corridors, lifts, canteens, cafeteria and also staircase.
The department of information technology, biotechnology and science and technology has sent a circular to five associations representing the IT industry in the state. The move follows a recent consultation between the Public Health Institute and the department. The circular has been sent to India Electronics and Semiconductor Association, Animation, Visual Effects, Games and Comics (ABAI), Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises, The National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) and the Manufacturing IT (MAIT).
‘As IT industry tends to be the most important sector in Karnataka, smoking in public places is to be banned under the Section 4 of COTPA to lower the effects of passive smoking in the state.’
"IT is an important sector in Karnataka with thousands of companies and lakhs of workers who may be vulnerable to passive smoking. Hence, it's important to comply with Section 4 of COTPA and prohibit smoking on campuses. This would also persuade smokers to quit and adopt healthier lifestyles while protecting passive smokers," states the circular sent to the association by IT-BT principal secretary V Manjula.
Smoking is banned in all public places in India to protect passive smokers as per Section 4 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act 2003 (COTPA). The companies are also encouraged to adapt healthier lifestyle choices to make workplaces more healthier.
Dr Vishal Rao, an oncologist and consultant with Public Health Institute which has spearheaded the implementation COTPA, said, "A significant number of youngsters get addicted to smoking to overcome work pressure and stress. Smoking has been a concern in IT industries and needs to be addressed."