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HPA warns govt institutes to adhere to tobacco control laws



Health Protection Agency (HPA) has informed the government authorities to ensure that Tobacco Control Act is followed by the public when leasing state properties.

HPA announced this after a majority of the stalls being developed in the harbourside allowed customers to smoke. State Trading Organization (STO) announced the lease of 26 open air cafe’s, with smoking areas in 12 cafés. Since these are open-air cafes, the Tobacco Control Act does not allow smoking on these premises.

HPA’s deputy director and Tobacco Control Board’s spokesperson Hassan Mohamed said on Monday that it has come to their notice that the tobacco control act is not being followed when leasing state properties to the public. He added that the government institutes such as the housing ministry are being advised to follow the rules stated in the Act.

According to the anti-tobacco laws, if smoking is to be allowed in a café, there needs to be a separate area for smokers and non-smokers.

Mohamed also said that they have informed STO to terminate the agreements that allow smoking in open-air café. STO has yet to take any action on the matter.

The old harbour cafés were taken down to develop the area. STO took the project and the 26 cafés up for leasing are the first part of the project. More cafés are currently underway.

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Source URL: Mihaaru-News

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