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Concerns over draconian smoking laws

Concerns over draconian smoking laws

Aaron Bhatnagar, Hobson Community Board spokesman for liquor licensing today highlighted his concerns over the draconian anti-smoking laws proposed for bars, clubs and restaurants.

“The government is using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut. The proposed law is a heavy-handed and ham-fisted approach that will cause serious economic hardship to bars, clubs and restaurants in the Hobson Ward,” said Mr Bhatnagar.

“Rather than impose a draconian law that forces all those in the hospitality industry to turn away smokers, they should use some of the large amount of taxes collected from tobacco to help pay for a smoke-free friendly hospitality association that would market and promote those bars, clubs and restaurants that voluntarily decide to go smoke free,” said Mr Bhatnagar.

“I am very concerned that honest, upright business owners and those working in the hospitality industry in Hobson Ward are going to be unfairly penalised by having a law forced down their throats by a government that is not open to negotiation. Those in the industry I have spoken to suggest an arrangement as used in Australia where smoking is banned in eating places, but not in drinking places, or where the ventilation is of an appropriate standard. This also seems quite fair and reasonable,” said Mr Bhatnagar.

“I hope the government will listen to the valuable comments of the hospitality industry – a fair compromise is needed between the desire to keep the air clear and keeping people in work,” said Mr Bhatnagar.

Aaron Bhatnagar is not a smoker.

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