Economy cited in calls for easing of Lebanon’s smoking ban

| October 5, 2012

A Lebanese MP says that amendments he has proposed to the country’s recently-introduced public-places tobacco smoking ban would be government-revenue positive, according to a story in the Beirut Daily Star.

Antoine Zahra was reported by local media representatives of having told parliament that he had submitted an urgent amendment to Article 5 of the ban after it had become obvious that applying the law was hurting the tourism sector.Lebanon’s economy had suffered enough, he apparently added.

His amendments would allow for the inclusion in public places of smoking sections and international-standard ventilation systems.

But they would bar those under 18 from entering any venue where smoking was allowed.

Zahra’s submission came a day after a number of associations had demanded the government amend the ban, which went into effect last month.

They said the sector had been burdened with heavy losses as a result of the ban.

Meanwhile, Pierre Achkar, head of the Hotels Association, said during a news conference on Tuesday his members were not calling for the cancellation of the smoking ban, but for a law that took their businesses into account.

And the head of the Chambers of Commerce, Mohammad Choucair, asked the government to provide licenses for venues specialized in nargileh.

Category: Breaking News

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