Law to prevent smoking in public places passes Lower House

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The Tobacco Control Bill which prohibits smoking in public places has passed after the debate in the Lower House.

“We have an obligation to protect those who are innocent bystanders,” said Health Minister Molwyn Joseph.

The bill places several restrictions on smokers and people involved in the tobacco business.

Under the new bill, a person shall not smoke a tobacco product in any enclosed public place, enclosed workplace, or on a public conveyance, including, but in no way limited to, any place listed in the Second Schedule.

It also prevents smoking a tobacco product in any of the following outdoor public or workspaces –
(a) any outdoor space that is designated as a no-smoking area by the person responsible for the premises;
(b) within 15 meters of any doorway, operable window, or air intake mechanism;
(c) within 15 meters of any waiting area or queue, including but not limited to public transport stops;
(d) the premises of any child care facility or educational facility at any level of instruction;
(e) the premises of any health care facility;
(f) a playground, amusement park, plaza, or public park;
(g) a stadium, arena, or any kind of sports, music, arts, or other performance space;
(h) a space for the service or consumption of food or drink; and
(i) any other outdoor public or workspace as may be specified in regulations.

This legislation seeks to eliminate the damage of second hand smoking,” Joseph said while wrapping up debate on the bill.

The health minister added, “we will do what is appropriate to protect our people.”

The bill will also seek to curtail tobacco advertising promotion and sponsorship.

There are also restrictions on where the substance can be sold.

For example, a person shall not sell a tobacco product anywhere within the indoor or outdoor premises of the following places –
(a) any facility where health care services are provided;
(b) hospitality venues, such as restaurants, bars, clubs, casinos, and places of accommodation
(c) sporting, entertainment, music, dance, and social venues or events;
(d) government facilities;
(e) educational facilities; and
(f) any other place as may be prescribed in regulations.

Joseph said the restrictions will help curtail actions which lead to chronic non-communicable diseases in the country.

During the committee stage, Members of Parliament made several recommendations on how the bill can be improved.

 

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10 COMMENTS

  1. I have to agree with Robin on this draconian bill. The police have better things to do. Really, you are going to arrest and fine people on holiday here? Smokers should be considerate of others but they have rights too.

  2. So we are moving from jail full of marijuana users to full of tobacco users???….this country gets better by the minute!!! LMAO!!!!

  3. Like all laws in Antigua, it will not be enforced anyway, so a complete waste of time. If the government was serious about curtailing “actions which lead to chronic non-communicable diseases in the country”, how about stopping the vendors selling lollies to the children next to schools? Diabetes and its complications is the number 1 non-communicable disease in the country and costs us millions every year. In comparison how many cases of non smokers developing lung cancer, related to second hand smoke exposure has Antigua suffered in the last decade??

    • Hump! Y’all will go big Mercia and you respct their laws about somking in public place but of course we here in antigua never want no good for ourselves.

  4. you know people really dont know their laws, a simple search would show you we always had these laws in place from what am seeing here the only update is they cut down 30m to 15m

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