Sri Lanka - ambiguity in Alcohol and Tobacco Act..

August 12, 2009 - Opinion - A. J.B. Anghie, Deputy Chairman, Sri Lanka Cancer Society - I refer to your news item on the Alcohol and Tobacco Act in your issue of 29th July 2009, and would like to draw attention to an ambiguity in the law.

The Act No. 27 of 2006 states - " Clause 39 (2) Any person who being the owner, occupier, proprietor, manager, trustee or person in charge of any enclosed public place shall ensure that no person smokes any tobacco product within any such enclosed public place:

Provided however -
(a) any hotel, guest house or lodge having thirty rooms or more;
(b) any restaurant or club having the seating capacity of a minimum of thirty persons; or
(c) an airport, may, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1), have within its premises an enclosed space or enclosed area as the case may be, set aside EXCLUSIVELY FOR SMOKING and shall conform to the prescribed air quality standards." (my capitals)

The phrase ‘exclusively for smoking’ is rather ambiguous and needs clarification. It needs to be stated whether it means ONLY for smoking and nothing else. Whether food and drink could be served and consumed in these areas as is the practice in some star class hotels at present. Whether any other activity such as indoor games may be pursued in these areas.

Further, whether the air conditioning in these areas should be separate from the
central air conditioning system.

Reference: Opinion - Glaring ambiguity in Alcohol and Tobacco Act, The Island Online - Sri Lanka, 7/30/2009.

Sri Lanka - related news briefs:
Sri Lanka - NATA to advise government and tobacco industry..;
Sri Lanka - Industry gimmick to entice youth to smoking..;
Sri Lanka - huge drop in tobacco smoking..

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