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Smoking Deferral Exemptions

The following letter was sent by James Middleton of Clear The Air to Tobacco Control on the 12th of Feb 2008.

Dear Tobacco Control,

The Department of Health grants smoking deferral exemptions to any liquor licensed premises that states on its application form for deferral that its main income is derived from the sale of intoxicating liquor and not from its food sales. The Department Of Health does not even request a certified set of accounts to prove this point.

It seems pointless for restaurants to apply for a General Restaurant (full) license and abide by the rigid size requirements for the kitchen etc when their main sales are supposedly from liquor and they could pack more people in to sell drinks rather than having tables for food. It is obvious that many restaurants would apparently earn possibly more from its food sales than drinks. Tobacco Control should not rely on these declarations and should by inspection , ascertain what the main usage of the premises is : ie they are a genuine sit down restaurant or they are a bar with occasional full meals.

As we see it, any premises that has a General Restaurant license rather than a Light Refreshment license is involved in the sale mainly of meals, rather than being a bar, then can be exempted . Furthermore any premises that has its exemption overturned should be prosecuted under the Crimes Ordinance for making a false declaration in order to obtain the initial exemption (ie that their premises conformed to all requirements listed in the application procedure) and such prosecutions will probably see a flood of sham bars that are actually restaurants rescinding their exemptions.

Kind regards

James Middleton


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