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Villa Marina - Non Smoking 19 April 2004

Minister of Tourism and Leisure, David Cretney, MHK, has announced that from today, Monday 19th April 2004, the whole of the Villa Marina will be strictly non-smoking. The minister said:

"From the day of opening the vast majority of the building has been non-smoking, but we had a few areas of the building set aside for those who choose to smoke. We also had a major event which had been lined up some months ago and the organisers required the flexibility for smoking to be permitted. Now this event has taken place we will be making it clear that the building will be completely non-smoking and organisers will book the building in that full knowledge."

Prior to opening, the Department had agreed on an experimental basis to allow smoking in limited areas of the building. This was always intended to be subject to review and in reaching this decision we have listened to our customers.

Mr Cretney has discussed this issue with smokers, non-smokers and staff over the Easter break when two very successful concert nights took place in the lovely Royal Hall set out in cabaret style. The minister continued:

"I have also received a small number of letters on the issue and have discussed the policy with other members of Tynwald. We have to acknowledge that in taking this position we may lose some potential revenue but if any progress is going to be made with other public buildings we should again show leadership as we have previously with the National Sports Centre and Gaiety Theatre."

The Council of Ministers have agreed that the Minister for Tourism, Minister for Health and Minister for Local Government should look into promoting further non-smoking in public buildings.

The Minister concluded:

"Amongst other things we will be looking at the recent legislation in the Republic of Ireland."

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