Tourism industry urges amending smoking ban
Restaurant owners said Law 174 “unfair”
Leaders of tourism and leisure business associations called for an amendment of the anti-smoking law at a gathering on Tuesday (October 2). They said that Law 174 in its current form will have a drastic impact on their businesses, and submitted an amendment proposal. The Parliament is scheduled to hold a legislative session on October 16.
Restaurants and cafes owners also said the indoor smoking ban was enforced at a bad time. The smoking ban is expected to result in an overall drop of $280 million in revenues for restaurants, cafes, pubs, and nightclubs, according to a study conducted by Ernst & Young upon the request of the Syndicate of Owners of Restaurants, Cafes, Night-Clubs, and Pastry Shops. The study said the ban will likely cut down annual tourist spending by $46 million, and cause the loss of about 2,600 full-time jobs.
Among the suggested amendments to the law is giving special exemptions and permits for Shisha cafes, whose business relies mainly on tobacco smoking, as well as nightspots. Suggested reforms also include allowing restaurants to have special zones for smokers.
Around 47 percent of men and 30 percent of women in Lebanon are smokers, as per World Health Organization figures.
Date Posted: Oct 02, 2012