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Parties split on smoking rules Major political parties have failed to reach consensus on the rules of a bill extending the smoking ban at public premises. Legislators were originally scheduled to hold second and third readings of the new rules yesterday. But the agenda was changed for holding another inter-party... 顯示更多 Parties split on smoking rules
Major political parties have failed to reach consensus on the rules of a bill extending the smoking ban at public premises.
Legislators were originally scheduled to hold second and third readings of the new rules yesterday. But the agenda was changed for holding another inter-party consultation following opposition raised by some lawmakers.
While the lawmakers were engaged in heated debate at the consultation session, both anti-smoking organizations and suppliers of tobacco and alcoholic drinks as well as restaurateurs stepped up lobbying for and against the rules on the extended smoking ban at the Legislative Yuan.
Lawmakers from the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) stepped out to block the controversial rules while all other parties are ready to give the green light.
Legislator Tsai Cheng-yuan pointed out he backed the plan to extend the public areas prohibiting smoking.
But he pointed out that the draft rules already approved the Finance Committee of the Legislative Yuan would spark more controversies in the future.
Tsai noted that the Article Four of the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Law gives the Department of Health (DOH) the absolute authority to allocate the fund set up from the surtax imposed on tobacco products.
However, the new rules of the Tobacco and Alcoholic Drinks Tax Law just ratified by the parliament on Tuesday authorized the Ministry of Finance to handle the fund.
The newly ratified rules will double the surtax on tobacco products, including raising the so-called \"health and wealth donation,\" from NT$5 to NT$10 for a pack of cigarettes regardless of brand.
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