Sen. Aguon demands smoking compliance at airport

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The Democrat lawmaker alleges that patrons of the Clippers restaurant are being allowed to smoke in an area that is not separate and fully-enclosed as required by local law.

Guam – Senator Frank Aguon Jr. is calling out the Guam International Airport for noncompliance with anti-smoking laws.

The Democrat lawmaker says he first learned of the issue when concerned health advocates reported questionable operations at the airport’s Clippers restaurant.

In a letter to GIAA Executive Manager Chuck Ada, the Democrat lawmaker alleges that patrons of the Clippers restaurant in the departure terminal are being allowed to smoke in an area that is not separate and fully-enclosed as required by the Natasha Protection Act.

“The Natasha Protection Act was initially signed into law in 2005,” the senator explained in an interview with PNC.

He added, “It was amended with specific provisions and restrictions with regards to the airport facility in February of 2016. And because it’s already been a year and a half, several of those concerns were raised as to why the law has not been properly complied with.”

Aguon told PNC that the legislation was passed with overwhelming support.

“There was a young lady who had some health issues, she had a weakened lung. As a result of second-hand smoke, she was impacted and it contributed to shortened lifespan. So in that case, it came to the issue of the legislature enacting laws ensuring this does not affect individuals with either health concerns or weakened lungs,” he said.

In response to the allegations, GIAA Executive Manager  Chuck Ada told Phill Leon Guerrero on K-57’s One Free Re-Hhill that the airport, in this instance, might have a federal exemption.

“We believe we are [in compliance], but you know we are concerned with the inquiry from Senator Aguon and the reason why we gave the position we are in is the fact that anything past the TSA screening or the security check point is considered under federal jurisdiction,” stated Ada.

Regardless, the Democrat lawmaker has asked Ada for a response and a plan for compliance by next Monday.