20 Jan 2011

American Samoa business prepared for smoking restrictions

1:11 pm on 20 January 2011

Many businesses in American Samoa say they prepared early for the new smoke free law which has come into force today.

Governor Togiola Tulafono signed the Smoke Free Environment Act last October, with a provision of a 90-day grace period.

The law prohibits smoking in all enclosed areas that the public has access to regardless of whether it's run by the government or a private entity.

The chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, David Whitby, says since the Governor's signing, many businesses had created 'no smoking' sections inside buildings, offices, retail stores and restaurants.

But he says it will take a bit of adjusting for others, like the public transport sector.

"There's unanimous support across the businesses on island and as I said, many of them had already had smoke-free environments anyway. And so this is not a huge change. I think some of the changes will be on some of the buses, with no smoking, that will have a bit of an impact. 15"

The chairman of the American Samoa Chamber of Commerce, David Whitby