BVI – Skelton threatens clampdown on public smokers

Health Minister Ronnie Skelton has made it clear that he will see to it that the legislation to ban smoking in public places is enforced, warning that businesses and individuals who breach the law will be fined.

He gave the warning in the House of Assembly yesterday (January 28) while lamenting that the government has passed laws in the territory that are not being enforced.

“We have passed laws in this country that are not being adhered to and not being enforced. Madam Speaker, we have passed non-smoking law in this country; I go into the restaurants [and] the hotels; and everybody is smoking – nobody saying anything.”

“This has to stop Madam Speaker. When we pass the laws, they need to be enforced,” added Skelton during his contribution to the debate on the Higher Education Licensing Act 2015.

He stated that, under the law regarding smoking in public, it is mandated that business owners put non-smoking signs in their establishments.

Those without the signs will be fined, Skelton warned.

“All the institutions are supposed to put non-smoking signs in their establishments. These restaurants and stuff without these signs; we have to fined them under the law. I am threatening them that they will be fined because second-hand smoke is killing people. It’s a know fact.”

The territory’s Tobacco Control Act, which was passed in 2006, bans smoking in public places such as bars, restaurants, nightclubs, airports, offices, and sports facilities. The legislation also bans smoking within 50 feet of any public space.

A person caught smoking tobacco publicly – for example – is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $1,000 for the first offence and $2,000 for any subsequent conviction. (BVI News.com)

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