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Make room!

marciadottin, [email protected]

Make room!

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Barbados’ largest wholesaler of cigarettes, Brydens Barbarees Limited, has come out in support of legislation restricting smoking in indoor public places but is urging Government to create designated outdoor smoking areas.In a Press release yesterday, the wholesaler said Government should be cautious of “social exclusion”, which could have a negative effect on certain sectors of the hospitality industry.“We do not believe that people should be allowed to smoke anywhere; however, appropriate areas should be made available so that smokers – whether citizens or tourists – do not experience social exclusion,” the release stated. “Sure enough, it is also necessary to differentiate between the specific needs of different public places: a hospital, bar, or restaurant are not the same since their nature and purpose differ completely,” it continued.Right to smokeThe Press release said people in areas like pool decks and beaches should not be penalised for smoking and also called for rum shop patrons to maintain their right to smoke outside those venues.The new legislation which will take effect from October 1 outlaws smoking in public places, rum shops, bars, restaurants, hotels, Government buildings, libraries, museums and other places.The legislation which seeks to protect people from the harmful effects of second-hand tobacco smoke comes with some stiff regulations and fines.Smokers found guilty of breaking the regulations may face a $500 fine or a 12-month prison term, or both. Proprietors found guilty of allowing people to smoke under their roof can also be fined $5 000 or be imprisoned for 12 months or both.Brydens noted that very few countries had adopted total smoking bans.The exception“Worldwide, total smoking bans in public places are the exception, not the rule. Therefore, we ask the Barbados authorities to consider a balanced approach to public-place smoking, for the benefit of the entire population and retailers,” the release noted.“Smoke-filled environments can be uncomfortable and a reason for concern for some people; but also recognise that a portion of the adult population smokes and that any regulatory initiative must take into consideration the legitimate interests of both non-smokers and smokers,”the wholesaler added. (CT/PR)

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