Illegal Smoke

June 01 (LBO) – Ceylon Tobacco Company together with several hotel associations filed petitions in the Supreme Court on Thursday against proposed laws to clamp down on smoking.

The petition challenges the constitutionality of the proposed National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) bill, which the company claims prohibits smoking in hotels and restaurants, CTC said in a statement.

Section 40 of the bill states every person who is the owner, proprietor or manager or trustee or occupier of any building, built in or enclosed area to which the public have access shall ensure that no person smokes any tobacco product within such building or area.

The Bill was tabled before Parliament last week. The clause is thought to affect large hotels, some 40,000 small hotels and eating houses around the country, classed as small and medium.

It is possible for NATA and health authorities to consult the affected businesses in bringing about a more practical arrangement, which safeguards respective interests of the different interest groups but at the same time reduce the drastic economic impact it can have on businesses, the statement said.