VIDEO: CNMI Report: Senate Approves Bill Easing Smoking Restrictions at Hotels

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Guam – The CNMI Senate passed on Friday a bill expanding the number of rooms at each hotel that can be designated as smoking areas.

Governor Fitial is expected to sign it.

The bill, authored by Sen. Luis Crisostomo, increases from 20 percent to 30 percent the number of rooms where guests can smoke. It also allows smoking in attached balconies of hotel rooms.

Commonwealth Cancer Association program manager Tina Sablan said the bill’s passage is a step backward.

She, however, said it could’ve been worse if the Senate passed Rep. Froilan Tenorio’s amendment to the anti-smoking law, which would’ve expanded the number of hotel smoking rooms to 80 percent.

The current anti-smoking law allows up to only 20 percent of rooms at hotels to be designated as smoking areas.

An amendment to the existing anti-smoking law is one of three priority bills that the Fitial administration and the Legislature agreed on earlier this month to jump-start the CNMI economy.