Barbados - strict smoking ban coming into force October 1, 2010..

Barbados - Coat_of_Arms..
August 9, 2010 - BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, – A ban on smoking in public in Barbados takes effect on October 1st, with fines and imprisonment chosen as punishment for illegal smokers. Proprietors of buildings who allow people to smoke won’t be getting off the hook, either, because they too will be prosecuted. Under the proposed law, smokers found guilty of breaking the law face a maximum BDS$500 (US$250) fine or a 12-month prison term, or both.

The announcement came yesterday from the country’s Health Minister, Donville Inniss, who said that the anti-smoking legislation that will give teeth to the ban has been approved by Cabinet and will be taken to parliament soon, as the government seeks to protect citizens from the harmful effects of second-hand tobacco smoke (shs, passive smoking, environmental tobacco smoke, ets, sidestream smoke, involuntay smoking) .

“This new legislation is the most significant piece of public health legislation to be completed over the last ten years and will positively impact on individuals, families, employers and employees,” Inniss said during his ministry’s breakfast meeting on the Prohibition of Tobacco Smoking in Public Places. “This legislation is also showing our commitment as a government to the workers of Barbados, particularly in the service and tourism sectors.”

Proprietors and operators of bars, restaurants, shops, hotels, government buildings and other public buildings will also be expected to comply with no smoking legislation and will face stiffer penalties if they don’t. In addition to generally not allowing people to smoke in their establishments, they can forget about creating any special areas for smoking. “If you wish to go and build an air-conditioned smoker room, understand that that too is against the law because the place is substantially enclosed,” Inniss explained.

August 9, 2010 - Brydens Barbarees Limited, may be the largest wholesaler of cigarettes in Barbados, has given its support to legislation that will restrict smoking in indoor public places. It gave its backing in a statement, issued over the weekend, but stressed the need to consider the rights of both smokers and non-smokers.(Cigarette wholesaler supports smoking ban, Caribbean360.com, 8/9/2010)
Senior Medical Officer with responsibility for Chronic Diseases, Dr Kenneth George, added that neither the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) nor the anti-smoking legislation makes provisions for any designated areas for smokers.

Those found guilty of allowing people to smoke in a public place could be fined as much as BDS$5,000 (US$2,500), be sent to prison for 12 months, or both. If they fail to display no-smoking signs in at least two prominent places, as specified in the law, or stop inspectors assigned to ensure laws are being enforced from doing their job, they face similar punishment

The ban will no doubt raise questions about a person’s constitutional right to smoke. But the Health Minister has made it clear that the rights of others must also be respected. “It is a fundamental right of our citizens to live, work and play in clean and wholesome environments. While the legislation does not prevent the smoker from lighting up, it provides for a smoke-free environment for Barbadians and, indeed, visitors alike,” he said.

Responding to concerns about the effect of the no-smoking ban on the tourism sector, Inniss said he did not believe smoking in public places was a consideration for visitors. He predicts there won’t be any fallout. In fact, he said, there may even be an increase in business if it is promoted that Barbados is moving towards becoming a smoke-free environment. “Evidence has shown from other jurisdictions that such action as prohibition of smoking in public places has actually resulted in increased business for many of these establishments,” Minister Inniss said.

Before the smoking ban takes effect, the Ministry of Health will be engaging in a comprehensive public education programme. Chief Medical Officer Dr Joy St John said the educational campaign will include training, public service announcements and community outreach. Additionally, she said, officials from the Ministry, along with environmental health officers, will be visiting businesses to ensure the pending regulations are clearly understood.

Reference: No smoking in public soon, Caribbean360.com, 8/6/2010.

Barbados on November 3, 2005 ratified the
WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Treaty.



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