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Smoking ban to be put on law books Friday

Published:Thursday | July 11, 2013 | 12:00 AM

Neville Graham, director of communications for the Ministry of Health, says the regulations to give effect to a ban on smoking in public spaces will be gazetted by Friday.

Graham told The Gleaner yesterday that the Ministry of Health has been having challenges with the printing of the regulations.

Asked what challenges the ministry was having, Graham said he was "not authorised" to speak on the matter.

Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson last month announced in Parliament that it would be illegal to smoke in public as of July 15.

At the time, the minister said the policy "represents one of the more far-reaching public-health decisions in decades" and was "about protection of public health".

The ban prohibits smoking in all enclosed spaces, 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.

First offenders of the forthcoming ban will be fined $50,000 and/or three months' imprisonment.

Repeat offenders can expect six to 12 months' imprisonment or fines up to $500,000.