No need for concern over smoking ban in tourism sector
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The GOVERNMENT has recently implemented a ban on smoking in all enclosed places, public transportation, workplaces, government buildings, health facilities, sports, athletics and recreational facilities, educational facilities, areas specifically for use by children, and places of collective use, such as bus stops.
Scientific studies have indicated that exposure to tobacco smoke can lead to lifestyle diseases, disability and death.
As an organisation which promotes health, the Pharmaceutical Society of Jamaica (PSJ) supports the introduction of the no-smoking policy in the interest of public health.
Concerns have been expressed that this ban may have negative effects on our tourism industry. Could this be based on the assumption that all tourists - or the majority of them - smoke or have no objection to inhaling second-hand smoke?
BAN NOT NEW
Tourists are already sensitised to this no-smoking ban in closed public places. The ban is already in effect or will be coming into effect in many countries worldwide. Several states in the United States have already enacted smoking bans covering all bars and restaurants. Ireland has introduced a ban and other countries in Europe will be doing the same.
Tobacco smoking has not been banned. It is only prohibited in enclosed, public places and a few other places. The regulation is out of respect for and in the interest of those who do not smoke or do not wish to smoke.
The PSJ is cognisant of free will and will not reject the notion of specified smoking areas for persons who wish to engage in this activity.
However, think of the gains this ban could produce.
Pharmaceutical Society of Jamaica