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GRTU’s Deputy President Philip Fenech has met Superintendent of Public Health Dr Richard Zammit and Environmental Health Director Clive Tonna following GRTU’s earlier communication on developments and implementation of policies related to fines and penalties on smoking in entertainment and leisure premises.
GRTU maintained its support towards continuous efforts by the Health Ministry over the years to promote healthier lifestyles without smoking. GRTU has over the past months however raised concern on the implementation of fines and penalties to venue owners that seek to be compliant. GRTU emphasized that such policies need to be implemented
positively in a proportionate and reasoned manner. GRTU intends to build on its previous cooperation with the respective health directorates so that cooperation by owners is encouraged and rewarded.
During this meeting measures of enforcement were discussed in a sense that does not impinge unnecessary burdens to compliant owners whereby owners would have taken all necessary measures to deter tenants from smoking within their premises. Attention was drawn to the situations of business owners and venue managers who would have sought to abide by the law but are penalised for the actions of tenants beyond their control. A logical and practical approach needs to be adopted.
The smoking issue is to be extended to further curtail smoking in public areas to encourage healthier lifestyles and promote well-being. GRTU remains in support of initiatives to ensure that business owners fulfil their duties in terms of the law and in support of public health but also seeks to ensure that the policies which are intended to promote public health are not implemented in manners which create illogical burdens to business owners who comply.
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