The Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines is contemplating an all-out ban on smoking (tobacco) in public places.
Minister of Health and the Environment Luke Browne made the disclosure during the debate on the Amendment of the Drug Misuse (Prevention of) Bill in Parliament, July 25.
That Bill addresses the issue of smoking marijuana in public by making provisions for an offender to be given a ticket with one month to pay the fine, that is once the offender cooperates with the law enforcement authorities.
But according to the health minister, the prohibition of smoking marijuana in public was not so because it was marijuana.
He noted that a consultant on tobacco control had paid him a visit in the days leading up to the presentation and debate of the Drug Misuse (Prevention of) Amendment Bill in Parliament.
“And one of the things on the agenda was the question of an overall ban on smoking in public places,” Browne said.
“This is an important consideration for our health,” he continued.
Within recent times, the government has been pursuing a public health campaign to deter people from using alcohol and tobacco products.
And earlier this year, as per Government’s fiscal measures, the excise tax on cigarettes moved from EC$1.55 to $2.75 per 100 sticks; and for unmanufactured tobacco and tobacco refuse, the rate increased from 6 to 10 percent, and the duty on cigars moved from 14 to 20 percent