Cops not on smoking beat

rhondathompson, rhondathompson@nationnews.com

Added 11 August 2010

Cops are sure to look for the “smoking” gun, but the smoking cigarette is another problem.Ministry of Health officials say it’s not police officers who will be enforcing a planned October 1 ban on smoking in public places.Public health officers, who routinely check business places to ensure they conform to the national health regulations, are among those who will enforce the no-smoking laws.Environmental health officers and building officers in the Environmental Protection Division Health will also be involved.Minister of Health Donville Inniss recently announced the plan to ban smoking in public places, including rum shops, bars, restaurants, hotels, other businesses, Government buildings and some places of “national significance” such as libraries and museums.Smokers found guilty of breaking the regulations may face a $500 fine or a 12-month prison term – or both.It’s going to be a lot tougher for proprietors found guilty of allowing people to smoke in a public place. They could be fined $5 000 or be imprisoned for 12 months – or both.Under laws to be passed shortly, proprietors also have to display no-smoking signage in at least two prominent places.Those who refuse to do this or to allow inspectors to perform their duties could be fined $5 000 or imprisoned for 12 months – or face both penalties, once convicted. (TY)

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