The Department of Health has published an update to the Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Control Bill of 2018.
The bill provides insight into the probable content of the final statute.
It appears as if the Department intends on bypassing the NEDLAC process and will, as a result, table the bill in parliament within the next 10-days. We can therefore expect an opportunity to make a submission on the contents of the bill before the end of the year.
Although the department will no doubt look to speed up the process through parliament next year, the 2023 elections may well delay the process further.
The bill seeks to regulate e-cigarettes in the same manner as cigarettes. As it stands at present, the following restrictions (amongst others) would probably be of concern to many hospitality establishments:
- Smoking will no longer be permitted in designated indoor areas or certain enclosed outdoor areas as defined.
- All existing indoor smoking areas be they in accommodation establishments, restaurants, pubs, taverns, casinos, conference centres or function facilities would need to be closed and, in terms of the definition of “enclosed”, various existing outdoor enclosed smoking areas would no longer be permitted.
- ‘Enclosed’ means any space covered by a roof or enclosed by one or more walls or sides, regardless of the type of material used for the roof, wall, or sides, and regardless of whether the structure is temporary or permanent;
- Accommodation establishments are no longer permitted to provide smoking bedrooms
- No smoking will be permitted in any space that is within the prescribed distance of an operable window, ventilation inlet, entrance, or exit of a place where smoking is prohibited. The prescribed distance is likely to be around 10 metres.
- No smoking will be permitted in any motor vehicle when a non-smoker or a child is present. Will include guest transport
- Designated indoor smoking areas for employees will no longer be permitted
- Employees may decline to work in outdoor areas where smoking is permitted
- Management and employers will be responsible for policing the legislation
- Establishments will be required to display various prescribed signs (to be published in future Regulations)
- No point-of-sale advertising will be permitted nor are tobacco products on sale be visible to the public.
Click here to access the Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Control Bill 2018.