A piece of legislation with good intent continues to cause concern in the hospitality industry.The Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association sent out a survey to general managers of its 30 hotel members on June 21 expressing concern over Public Law 28-80 commonly known as the Natasha Protection Act.David R. Tydingco president of the association shared with managers that "a major concern is privacy particularly in hotel rooms. In regards to the no smoking law do you want GHRA to pursue the action to allow smoking in hotel rooms?"Hoteliers were given four options:"¢ Yes I agree GHRA should pursue the action to allow smoking in hotel rooms."¢ No smoking should be prohibited in ALL enclosed areas."¢ I need further clarification and cannot comment at this point."¢ I do not want to take a position.Eighteen managers responded by the June 30 deadline; 15 wanted action pursued to allow smoking in hotel rooms and one did not according to GHRA.Tydingco told the Journal "The majority of properties want clarity on this law. We will first evaluate all the information available to us before taking action." He said the board would review responses of the general managers.Bartley A. Jackson general manager of Pacific Islands Club Guam and chairman of the association; told the Journal "Our understanding "" both relative to the intent of the law and to our non-legal understanding of hotel status is "" once we rent that room to an individual it is no longer a public space. It looks like the GMs have requested that we move ahead and get that clarified relative to the public law. The AG was very helpful relative to that effort but there’s a technicality that prevents him from taking that further. The general managers "" those who responded "" feel as if a hotel room is either not a public space once it is rented or needs to be carved out from this enforcement. Clearly those who responded feel that hotel rooms should not be considered as part of this law. That’s an interpretive issue and my understanding is that a private entity needs to challenge it in court."Jackson said GHRA had not yet received indicative feedback from members on how tourism markets would react. "I’m guessing every hotel in Guam has non-smoking rooms if not non-smoking floors. We also know that our two primary markets "" Japan and Korea "" are very active smoking markets." At PIC guests who requested smoking rooms were asked to smoke on balconies through a notice in the room. "Numerous hotels don’t have balconies. For consistency’s sake and for fairness sake we are addressing this for all our members."Now that we know that the GMs want us to move forward relative to hotel rooms we’ll look at all our options and make the best decision we can."Sen. Mark Forbes speaker of the 28th Guam Legislature and chairman of the Committee on General and Omnibus Matters told GHRA members at a June 21 association luncheon that the legislation had "unintended consequences " and was not intended to ban smoking in hotel rooms. The legislation originally introduced by Sen. Lourdes "Lou" A. Leon Guerrero was originally intended to ban smoking in restaurants. At the request of the hotel association "" which cited parity for all members "" banning smoking in bars was added. A provision to allow smoking in enclosed spaces that had ventilation devices to meet standards of the American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers was added despite the fact that the society has no such standards. Jackson said the association had considered a provision for members that had smoking lounges. "We had no idea that not only is there no sanctioned equipment there are no standards."Judge Steven Unpingco of the Superior Court of Guam on June 10 dismissed the civil case filed by Douglas B. Moylan attorney general who Unpingco said had no standing to bring the case to court as a civil case required two parties. The attorney general’s office said it plans to appeal the dismissal to the Supreme Court of Guam but in the meantime recommended that until the legislation is clarified concerning bars and hotels smoking in any public place and facility on Guam should not be permitted. The attorney general has also said that his office cannot enforce the law. Attorney Michael Philips managing partner in the law firm of Phillips & Bordallo; also intervened in the case as a private citizen to have the law enforced.The judge’s decision said the Department of Public Health and Social Services could have found competent legal aid through the office of the attorney general to draft a solution to the ambiguities in the legislation. MBJ