31 Jan 2011

Bill allows more tourists to smoke in Northern Marianas

5:22 pm on 31 January 2011

The senate in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas has passed a bill increasing the number of rooms at each hotel that can be designated as smoking areas.

The bill expands from 20 to 30 percent the number of rooms where guests can smoke.

It was only last year that an anti-smoking law was passed and Tina Sablan, programme manager for the Commonwealth Cancer Association, says the legislation hasn't been given a proper chance.

She says the bill is being pushed by the hotel industry which claims that a large percentage of tourists want to smoke in their rooms.

But Tina Sablan says they've never provided any studies showing that there's been any negative economic impact since the smoke free law was passed last year.

The bill will go to the House for further consideration