Clarification on smoking rules
"a positive step" - GRTU
GRTU hospitality and leisure section president Philip
Fenech yesterday expressed satisfaction at Health Minister Louis Degauaras
intentions to hold talks with owners of small establishments to clarify
concerns about new regulations on smoking due to be introduced in April.
Fenech told The Malta Financial and Business Times that this was a positive
step, although no invitation had yet been received by the GRTU from
the Health Ministry.
According to Minister Deguara, the Health Department had talks with
the key players including the restaurants' association, who were in
favour of this measure, however many are still in the dark on what they
will have to do to provide smoke-free zones in their establishments.
People responsible for shops, places of entertainment and other establishments
will be required to inform the public and their employees that smoking
would not be allowed on their premises. These establishments will have
to provide a separate area for smokers, which will be enclosed and separate
from no-smoking areas. Employers will have to ensure that employees
would not be required to enter these areas as part of their duties.
Smoking will not be permitted in places where services were provided,
or sold, to the public; hospitals, homes for the elderly, schools and
other places frequented by children and youths, educational establishments,
exhibition places, sports places, ports and airports and closed places
used for entertainment such as TV and radio stations.
Opposition leader Alfred Sant, himself a non-smoker, asked Minister
Deguara what consultations had been made before these regulations were
published and what measures had been taken for the provision of smoking
areas in public places, since many small shops could not designate any
areas for smoking.