Public Smoke

July 18, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s monopoly cigarette maker has asked for six months to enforce a public smoking and advertising ban, following legal amendments to anti-smoking laws that were passed in July.

The amendments to the National Tobacco and Alcohol Authority Act softens some of the rules on public smoking in hotels, restaurants and other places, pegged to conditions.

While smokers are banned from lighting up in enclosed public spaces, the airport, hotels or guest house with over 30 rooms have to set aside an exclusive area for smoking.

The same applies to a restaurant that can house 30 or more people, as long as all provide adequate ventilation and conform to prescribed air quality standards, the amendments say.

Enclosed public places include government departments, offices, banks, universities, places of worship, clubs, internet cafes, supermarkets and bus terminals, among others.

All outdoor advertising of cigarettes is also banned. We can only display products inside a shop and have notices at the point of sale, though the health minister will have to provide the size of the notices, one official with the Ceylon Tobacco Company, said.

Hotels have asked for ti