28 January 2004

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Clarification on smoking rules "a positive step" - GRTU

GRTU hospitality and leisure section president Philip Fenech yesterday expressed satisfaction at Health Minister Louis Degauara’s 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.

Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Malta Financial & Business Times, Newsworks Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann
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