Smoking ban coming for Spanish Town square
A ban on cigarette smoking will shortly be introduced within the entire designated area of Emancipation Square in Spanish Town, St Catherine.
The square will be the first smoke-free square in the Caribbean, when a declaration is officially unveiled in March. The initiative is a joint project of the Smoke-Free Action Coalition in Spanish Town and the St Catherine Parish Council.
At a launch ceremony in Emancipation Square Monday, Spanish Town Mayor Dr Andrew Wheatley said that the St Catherine Parish Council would be embarking on a public education campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of cigarette smoking.
Additionally, he said, no-smoking signs would be erected around the square.
Wheatley also called on the police and citizens of Spanish Town to support the initiative by helping to enforce the ban.
"It is a regulation that I believe has long-standing repercussions, because you are not just regulating traffic flow, you are not just prohibiting smoking in a particular area, but you are saving lives by cutting down on second-hand smoking," he said.
The mayor also explained that heavy-duty motor vehicles such as buses and trucks will be prohibited from entering the square.
"The St Catherine Parish Council, along with the St Catherine police, will be enforcing that regulation as part of the effort to support this initiative," he added.
Secretary/manager of the council, Christopher Powell, said that an amendment will have to be made to the public-health regulations in order for the square to become a smoke-free zone.
Powell explained that a resolution would be passed by the council to declare the square a smoke-free zone, after which a copy will be forwarded to the Department of Local Government to be gazetted.
"Only when it is finalised and gazetted and published, will we be able to enforce this initiative," he said.