Bill Designating Public Smoking Areas Passed

[SKNIS] The Smoking (Designated Areas) Bill, 2023 was passed in Parliament yesterday, June 20. The Bill designates certain specified public places as smoking areas, to prohibit smoking outside of a designated area in public places, to better provide for protection from exposure to certain types of smoke and for related or incidental matters.

The Bill also stems from as the Government’s plan to create an environment in the Federation where the rights of all persons are respected and no one’s rights are violated.

Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Drew moved the second reading of the Smoking (designated Areas) Bill, 2023.

“It is not for me to judge who should smoke or who should not smoke, however, I think it is imperative that we seek to create a situation where both those who smoke and those who don’t smoke can exist in harmony,” Prime Minister Dr. Drew stated.

The Prime Minister told the National Assembly that he believes that now is the best period to implement the Bill as it would allow for those who partake in the practice to exercise their rights without exposing non-smokers, particularly those with pre-existing health issues, to any health risks.

“You wouldn’t want people to just be in a crowd or down the street just smoking because not everybody around might want to partake in it and that is ok as well, but you don’t want people to not have an opportunity to express themselves. So, if we have … an environment that enables all to exist, while we upkeep the law, I really think that it is the best scenario that we can have,” Dr. Drew added.

The Smoking (designated Areas) Bill, 2023 also allows for any person, partnership, director of a company or lawful entity to apply to the Chief Medical Officer for a license declaring a designated smoking area.

The Bill received overwhelming support in the National Assembly from Members of Parliament on both sides of the aisle and was passed.

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