Amendment to tobacco act passes in Senate
The Senate has passed an amendment to the tobacco act, requiring restaurant and pub-owners to choose between allowing – or banning - smoking on their premises. The amendment is a long-sought compromise among lawmakers but one that has come under criticism. Anti-smoking activists charge it should have gone farther, while opponents say it violates personal freedoms. If signed by the president and passed into law, restaurants will be required to display clearly whether or not smoking is allowed within. Besides outlining provisions for restaurateurs, the bill defines public areas where smoking is banned and sees tougher sanctions for anyone selling tobacco or alcohol to minors.