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No criminal records for persons who breach smoking regulations

Published: Wednesday December 18, 2013 | 10:49 am Comments 0

The Health Minister has announced that persons convicted for breaching the Public Health (Tobacco Control) Regulations 2013 will not have it placed on their criminal records.

At the same time, Ferguson says some of the fines will also be lowered.

These are just two of the amendments to the original regulations which took effect on July 15, and which are now being reviewed by the Parliamentary Committee.

However, the health minister warns that the amendments to the regulations should not be seen as softness or back pedaling on the ban on tobacco smoking in public spaces.

Ferguson says no leniency will be given to business operators who continue to allow patrons to smoke in contravention of the regulations.

He says the $1 million fine will remain in effect.

Among the other amendments to the regulations is that owners and operators of businesses including hotels and guest houses would be permitted to have outdoor smoking areas which meet certain conditions.

However, staff of these establishments will not be required to enter these areas as part of their on-the-job duties.

On the issue of designated smoking rooms, Ferguson remained resolute that the idea would not be entertained.

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