VIDEO: CNMI Considers Easing Anti-Smoking Laws to Attract Tourists

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Saipan – A bill amending the anti-smoking law to increase from 20 percent to 80 percent the number of rooms at each hotel that can be designated as smoking areas was passed by the CNMI House of Representatives last week.

          

The bill’s author, Rep. Froilan C. Tenorio, said the current anti-smoking law imposes additional costs to employers and businesses as it continues to reduce customer patronage because of the percentage allocation designated for smoking and non-smoking rooms for hotels and motels.

The former speaker said the clienteles mostly served in hotels are from Japan, China, Korea, and other foreign countries who are mostly smokers.

Public Law 16-46 or the Smoke-Free Air Act of 2008 bans smoking in government facilities, all enclosed areas, and outdoor areas within 25 feet of any doorway entrance or exit to a government facility. It also prohibits smoking in all enclosed areas of public places, including areas available to the general public and other common-use areas.

Amending the Smoke-Free Air Act of 2008 is one of three priority legislation identified during the full leadership meeting a couple of weeks ago between Gov. Benigno Fitial, Lt. Gov. Eloy Inos, and lawmakers.