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Hezbollah bloc to oppose any changes to smoking law: Qassem

Hezbollah's deputy leader Sheikh Naim Qassem speaks in front of students at the LU in Hadath, Lebanon, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)

BEIRUT: Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem described the recent implementation of a smoking ban in public places as a great accomplishment and said his bloc would refuse any amendments to the legislation.

“We support the implementation of the smoking ban law in its entirety,” he said, according to a statement from Hezbollah.

“The Loyalty to the Resistance [parliamentary] bloc opposes any amendment to this law and will express its opinion in Parliament when any proposed amendment is put forward that might weaken the law,” he said.

Earlier this month Lebanese Forces MP Antoine Zahra proposed urgent amendments to the smoking ban which went into effect in September and called on the Parliament to approve it to help revive the country’s already struggling tourism sector.

Amendments to the smoking ban proposed by Zahra include designated sections for smokers and would also yield income to the treasury via taxes, the politician said Thursday.

Qassem said Monday that public health takes precedence and “this is a great achievement that needs to be protected and implemented.”

 

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