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TALKBACK: Smoking ban can hurt tourism

SHERRYLYN TOPPIN, [email protected]

TALKBACK: Smoking ban can hurt tourism

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PREPARE FOR THE economic fallout if Barbados places a complete ban on smoking.

That is the warning from online readers – even those who don’t smoke – in response to the suggestion from long-time anti-smoking advocate Dr Tony Gale.

It is a message the nonagenarian has pushed for more than 30 years and recently, Parliament extended the ban on smoking in public places to include e-cigarettes.

But Dr Gale’s suggestion was met with immediate resistance as counter calls came for bans on alcohol and emissions from vehicles on the roads.

Lauren Rutherford: Really now? And what about all the tourists that come here who smoke? Are we happy for them to relocate to another island which offers a similar tourism product but allows them to smoke outdoors at a public venue?

Zonia Straker: Lauren, when you travel to other countries, don’t you have to adjust to their rules? The tourists will upkeep the laws of Barbados just like the citizens will. Barbados has enough to worry about; no room to worry about the complications of unnecessary cancer.

Terry Lee Hornstein: I love Barbados and have been coming every year for 35 years, but I believe the impact on tourism would be immense. I am not a smoker but would consider another island that is not taking away all freedom of choice.

Chrissy Pantoja: I hate smoke but tobacco is a huge industry. When you create a ban on something like an additive habit, you create room for others to rally against other “habits”. Be careful what you ask for, sir.

Gina Harewood: I’ve been smoking 43 years. If Barbados banned [it], then I [will] change my holidays to Jamaica. It’s my choice to smoke. And I enjoy a cigarette.

John Blandford: I have no problem banning smoking in public areas being a heavy smoker since school age, but a total ban? Will we see a ban on alcohol which causes enough trouble socially, or the ban on insecticides used in Barbados? Oh! How about a policy on the filth that comes from the back end of buses?

Sandra Linton McDowell: I’m glad it’s not allowed inside restaurants. Total ban is not going to work; it’s ridiculous and I don’t even smoke. Things are working now, stop trying to stir up things. Prohibition on alcohol didn’t work either.

Gene Groseclose: There are other islands that would take our money as tourists just fine . . . .

Beverley Yearwood: I come to Barbados every year on holiday and I smoke. I will just go to another island. Simple as that.

Ricardo Bascombe: If you completely ban smoking, then alcohol must be banned also. Both are rated as the top five most dangerous drugs.

Pat BB: I totally agree. The other day in Town a guy walk past me smoking, I get the smoke full in my face, then my sinus was acting up and my chest was hurting. Sickening.

• Sherrylyn Toppin is THE NATION’s Online Editor.