Glaring ambiguity in Alcohol and Tobacco Act

I refer to your news item on the Alcohol and Tobacco Act in your issue of

29th July 2009, and would like to draw attention to an ambiguity in the law.

The Act No. 27 of 2006 states - " Clause 39 (2) Any person who being the owner, occupier,

proprietor, manager, trustee or person in charge of any enclosed public place

shall ensure that no person smokes any tobacco product within any such

enclosed public place:

Provided however -

    (a) any hotel, guest house or lodge having thirty rooms or more;

    (b) any restaurant or club having the seating capacity of a minimum of

thirty  persons; or

    (c) an airport,

may, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1), have within its

premises an enclosed space or enclosed area as the case may be, set aside

EXCLUSIVELY FOR SMOKING and shall conform to the prescribed air quality

standards." (my capitals)

The phrase ‘exclusively for smoking’ is rather ambiguous and needs

clarification. It needs to be stated whether it means ONLY for smoking and

nothing else. Whether food and drink could be served and consumed in these

areas as is the practice in some star class hotels at present.

Whether any other activity such as indoor games may be pursued in these


Further, whether the air conditioning in these areas should be separate from the

central air conditioning system.

A. J.B. Anghie
Deputy Chairman,
Sri Lanka Cancer Society.

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