NEW TOBACCO CONTROLS ANNOUNCED
Speaking on the day the new Tobacco Control Ordinance was announced, Diana Roberts, manager of the White Horse pub in Jamestown, was concerned. “It will affect the business badly. Business is really slow, most of our customers are fisherman who like to smoke and so many people have already said now that they are not prepared to smoke in the street , they would rather stay home. Another thing is because of the customs duty on pouch of Tobacco I won't be importing anymore. It's too much.”
The new Tobacco Control Ordinance will come into force on 1 September 2012. The main purpose of the Ordinance, which was approved by Legislative Council in June 2011 is to prohibit smoking in public premises, public places, and public vehicles, and also prohibit the sale of tobacco products to young persons under the age of 18 years.
Under the new Ordinance all premises enclosed or substantially enclosed which are open to the public shall be smoke free - this includes shops, bars, restaurants and clubs. All premises used as a place of work (including voluntary work) shall at all times be smoke free when used by more than one person, or if used by a member of the public.
All enclosed public vehicles, including taxis and buses, must be smoke free.
Premises, places and vehicles that are to become smoke free from 1 September must display ‘No Smoking’ signs which should be placed in a prominent position allowing them to be easily seen by users.
However all ‘smoke free’ premises can designate a ‘Smoking Area’ which must be clearly marked which does not allow smoke to ventilate into other parts of the building.
The other notable change to the Tobacco Ordinance is the age allowed to purchase tobacco products, which has been increased from 16 to 18 years. No person shall sell or supply any tobacco product to a person under the age of 18, or allow a young person under the age of 18 to smoke in a public place.
St Helena Government will be running an extensive communications campaign leading up to 1 September and will provide regular updates in newspapers, on radio and by various public communications. The team from Public Health will also be visiting owners of public premises and vehicles informing them of the new legislation and legal requirements.